Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) Sponsor Womenspire 2022

30th March 2022

Tell us about your organisation

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) is a Special Health Authority within NHS Wales. We sit alongside Health Boards and Trusts, and have a leading role in the education, training, development, and shaping of the healthcare workforce in Wales, in order to ensure high-quality care for the people of Wales.

Our Vision: The role of the workforce is pivotal in building a sustainable way of providing healthcare to the people of Wales in the future. As such, we work closely with our stakeholders to continuously evaluate, re-imagine, and re-invent how we need to work to meet the needs of an ever-changing world.

Our Purpose: Our purpose is to integrate, and grow expertise and capability in planning, developing, shaping, and supporting the health workforce – ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right roles to deliver world-class health and care to the people of Wales.

Our Values: Respect for all: In every contact we have with others. Together as a team: we will work with colleagues across NHS Wales and with partner organisations. Ideas that improve: harnessing creativity, and continuously innovating and evaluating.

Why are you supporting the awards?

Our workforce strategy for health and care in Wales outlines our ambition that ‘by 2030 leaders in the health and social care will display collective and compassionate leadership’.

This means being inclusive, so to promote and embed inclusion within our culture we have created, with Social Care Wales, a set of Compassionate Leadership Principles for health and care in Wales. One of our Principles is to “Improve equality, inclusion and diversity, consciously removing barriers and boundaries.“ We are therefore consciously striving to be inclusive and ensure that the diversity of our leaders across health reflect the diversity of our workforce and the demographics of the population we serve.

Several members of HEIW staff have participated in the ‘Women in leadership’ programme with extremely positive evaluation, and in some cases resulting in career progression into leadership roles within our organisation.

Why does gender equality matter to you?

A significant proportion of our NHS clinical and professional workforce is female. Whilst a fair gender split seems to be reflected in our current talent pools of aspiring executive leaders, it is essential that we continue to create and promote fair and inclusive processes that enable gender equality, and equality of the other protected characteristics, when promoting and recruiting to leadership positions. It matters to us that diversity and gender equality is reflected across our boards, teams and organisations.

We promote ‘Women in Leadership’ and other Chwarae Teg development opportunities to our NHS Wales workforce colleagues through our HEIW Leadership Portal for Wales, Gwella.

Why do you support the work of Chwarae Teg?

Chwarae Teg provides a means of positively inspiring women to reach their potential through campaigns, events, programmes and recognition awards. It provides organisations an invaluable source of credible, expert knowledge and support that enable organisations to address inequalities. Chwarae Teg will help inform our policies, practices and systems so equality, diversity and inclusion becomes embedded within our culture at HEIW and across NHS Wales.

The award is about celebrating women and the special contribution they make in health and care. Recognising their progress and achievements is really important in providing role models which inspire others and our younger generation to know that health offers very rewarding and fulfilling careers.

Alex Howells
Chief Executive, HEIW

The Woman in Health and Care Award at Womenspire is especially relevant given what's happened over the last two years and the disproportionate impact the pandemic has so often had on women in so many ways. Having HEIW sponsoring the award again means we can really showcase and recognise the achievements of our finalists.

Cerys Furlong
Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg