New focus on women’s interests at region’s ambulance service

Sarah Ford and Emma-Louise Bowen Hillson. Photo: EEAST

Sarah Ford and Emma-Louise Bowen Hillson. Photo: EEAST - Credit: EEAST

The region's ambulance trust has launched a women's special interest group in a unique style, with two of its female staff pulling off a feat of strength and determination in an ambulance pull challenge.

All Women in EEAST (AWE) group photograph. Photo: EEAST

All Women in EEAST (AWE) group photograph. Photo: EEAST - Credit: EEAST

The group, who have appropriately named themselves AWE (All Women in EEAST) will explore in more depth the issues women face at work, and what can be done to break down barriers.

By improving female representation in senior roles, accelerating gender pay equality, and bringing about real, tangible, positive changes the group hope to start a ripple effect that will go on to benefit the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust's entire workforce.

Made up of operational and non-operational women in the trust, AWE also welcomes the support of men as mentors or guest speakers.

Lindsey Stafford-Scott, EEAST's director of people and culture said: 'The AWE group have set their sights high already and I am proud to support them in achieving their goals.

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'It is widely recognised across the NHS that there is a need to support more women into senior leadership positions and that the ambulance sector has less senior female representation than other healthcare employers.

'In addition to encouraging women to develop in their careers it is also recognised that learning from women's experiences can provide a great learning opportunity for organisations to improve the workplace for all staff and create a more inclusive and supportive culture which is a key aim for the trust.

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'Establishing this group is the first in a number of important steps the trust has taken toward celebrating the women in its workforce and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this has in EEAST.'

Paramedics Sarah Ford and Emma-Louise Bowen Hillson were behind the ambulance pull launch,

Ms Ford said: 'I still want to be able to pick up people at 68 years old, and I think this challenge will really show the general public and our colleagues that we are strong women and we want to inspire other women to get strong and be healthy.'

Ms Bowen Hillson added: 'It's as much about the heart and lungs as the strength, the question isn't necessarily can you move a heavy object, but can you keep it moving before your lungs give out?'

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