Thursday, 07 March 2024

International Women's Day 2024

This International Women’s Day, we’re proud to be celebrating all of the amazing women who work for us. We will continue to uplift and support each other as we work towards a more inclusive and equitable world for all women. Today, we are shining the spotlight some of our colleagues in different roles across the organisation. 


Beth Pennington


What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Beth Pennington and I’m a GP with an Extended Role in Frailty. I work in the Community as part of the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Team and in Secondary Care with the Frailty in-reach team at Mersey and West Lancashire NHS Trust (SDGH site).  I am dedicated to holistic and personalised care provision, advocating for patients so that they are able to live, age and die well.

What has been your greatest success?

Realising my vocation as a portfolio GP has been my greatest success in the workplace. I am determined that barriers for provision of care should be challenged and that there are many direct benefits for patients if clinicians are bold and willing to work at the interface between primary and secondary care. This choice also naturally brings some difficulties; I have to work hard to maintain my skill set across multiple areas of practice, and it can also feel isolating to be the sole GP in a clinical team.

Why is international women’s day important to you?

International Women’s Day has always felt very personally significant to me; it is both my birthday, and my mum’s birthday. I’m also one of three sisters so have grown up in a world of articulate, caring and forthright, ‘elbows out’ women. It feels like a day to celebrate those relationships and take stock of our achievements, both personal and vocational.

Why Does Inspire Inclusion Matter?

International Women’s Day is also a good reminder of each of our responsibility to practise allyship, and this is what the theme ‘inspire inclusion’ means to me. Allyship is supporting those who are in traditionally underrepresented groups to which one does not identify. I endeavour to create inclusive work environments where everyone feels heard and microaggressions are addressed quickly, to always communicate thoughtfully and to ensure everyone feels like they belong.


Helen Mason

What is your name and what do you do?

My name Helen Mason I am the community cardiology service manager. One of my main roles is aimed at enhancing patient care and operational efficiency. I oversee the delivery and management of the community cardiology service, ensuring its seamless operation and adherence to quality standards. My responsibilities extend to resolving operational queries promptly and efficiently, guaranteeing smooth service delivery. with the support of the team, we address patient inquiries with empathy and professionalism, ensuring they receive the support and information they need for their cardiac care journey.

What has been your greatest success?

My greatest success is undoubtedly my family. Through the intricate tapestry of our lives, they form the threads of love, companionship, and shared dreams that have woven the fabric of my most significant achievements. 

My partner is my steadfast companion, a source of unwavering support, and the one with whom I have built a life full of shared experiences and mutual growth. Together, we have faced challenges, celebrated victories, and nurtured a relationship that serves as the foundation for our family's strength. And as a parent the joy derived from witnessing the growth and development of my son and daughter surpasses any other accomplishment. Their laughter, curiosity, and unique personalities bring immeasurable fulfilment to my life.

The responsibilities of parenthood have not only deepened my sense of purpose but have also fuelled a continuous journey of learning, patience.

What do you feel are additional challenges in the workplace for yourself?

One of the primary challenges I face is the slower-than-desired growth of the services I oversee. External factors or resource constraints may be impeding the speed at which the services can expand. This hurdle requires a careful balance of patience and proactive problem-solving, as I work to identify and address the barriers to growth while maintaining a focus on the long-term objectives.

Connectivity to other services is a challenge that underscores the importance of collaboration and integration in the modern professional landscape. In an interconnected world, ensuring seamless communication and synergy between different services or departments is imperative. Overcoming barriers to connectivity, whether technological, organizational, or cultural, demands a concerted effort to foster effective collaboration and streamline processes for optimal efficiency.

In the face of these challenges, I find opportunities for growth, innovation, and personal development. Each obstacle becomes a stepping stone, pushing me to develop creative solutions, enhance strategic thinking, and build resilience. By addressing these challenges head-on, I not only contribute to the success of the services I oversee but also continue to evolve as a professional, equipped with the skills and experience to navigate the complexities of the workplace.

Why is international women’s day important to you?/ Why does the theme, inspire inclusion matter to you?

International Women's Day holds profound significance for me, fuelled by the deep commitment to fostering a world where my daughter, nieces, and female colleagues can thrive without limitations. As a parent, and colleague, I recognise the transformative impact that this day can have on shaping a more inclusive and equitable future.


My daughter and nieces embody the potential of future generations. International Women's Day serves as a powerful reminder of the strides we've made in promoting gender equality and the work that remains. I want them to grow up in a world where their aspirations are boundless, where opportunities are not constrained by gender, and where they are encouraged to pursue their passions with unwavering support.


Moreover, within the professional sphere, the significance of International Women's Day resonates as a catalyst for change in work ethic. It prompts reflection on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, recognizing that a diverse workforce enhances creativity, innovation, and overall organizational success. I am dedicated to championing an environment where my female colleagues feel empowered, valued, and able to contribute their unique perspectives to the collective success of our team.


Full inclusivity is a goal that drives my commitment to International Women's Day. I believe in a world where everyone, regardless of gender, feels heard, respected, and given equal opportunities. This day serves as a rallying point for advocating gender equality, challenging biases, and fostering an inclusive culture that celebrates the diverse talents and strengths of every individual.


In celebrating International Women's Day, I am not only acknowledging the achievements and contributions of women but also actively participating in the ongoing dialogue to create a more equitable and inclusive future. By doing so, I hope to inspire, uplift, and encourage my daughter, nieces, and female colleagues to navigate their paths with confidence and resilience, knowing that their voices and aspirations are integral to the positive transformation of our shared world.


Jane Ayres


What is your name and what do you do?

 My name is Jane Ayres and I am a director of Southport and Formby Health and I work as a clinical pharmacist in four local GP surgeries. I support the GPs by reviewing patients' medication and prescribing medication where needed.

What has been your greatest success?

I was the first member of my family to go to study for A levels and go to university and I was encouraged to do this by my biology teacher, Mrs Addison. She encouraged me to believe in myself and apply to university. Throughout my career I have had lots of inspirational female role models including my first pharmacy manager  in Wigan Hospital and my GP mentor for my independent prescribing course.

What do you feel are additional challenges in the workplace for yourself?

Working part time has always been important to me to allow me to spend time with my family. - this includes my children as they have grown up and also my parents as they get older. Part time work is difficult as you end up catching up in the evening and at the weekend!

Why is international women’s day important to you?

Because it encourages us all to stop and think about inspirational women we have worked with or known and it helps promotes the rights of women


Sarah Amin

What is your name and what do you do?

Hi, my name is Sarah Amin.  I am the Sefton Training Hub Operations Manager. Within my role, I look to ensure that Sefton training hub is recognised as your go to place for any information about primary care workforce, education, and development across our area. We as a team work to address local needs whether it be development and expansion of placement capacity, recruitment, embed new roles, retention or workforce planning.

What has been your greatest success?

I feel proud of all that we as a team have accomplished to this point for the hub. The positive impact we have made to our current workforce by introducing new ways of developing their current roles to the ensuring our student nurses and physician associates are embedded in their roles across our practices shows how much we value the development of our upcoming workforce. It brings a sense of pride and satisfaction that as a team we have grown in the past 4 years and continue to do so with innovative and forward-thinking ways. 

What do you feel are additional challenges in the workplace for yourself?

There will always be challenges and obstacles and whilst I cannot think of one within the workplace, I feel that when I come across any challenges it is met by keeping perspective, understanding the situation and taking action. Staying positive and breaking down the challenges into smaller and manageable steps to develop an action plan. I tend to view setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth so reflecting on what went wrong and learning from the challenges will only improve my knowledge and improve the approach we take.

Why is international women’s day important to you?

I have always felt it to be a day for all, regardless of gender, and to be celebrated every day. I believe it is a day that serves us as a reminder of women’s rights and equality for all. It is about creating that equitable social space for everyone and reminding us all to celebrate the achievements, contributions, approaches, and thinking of women in their various fields. As we recognise their accomplishments and the challenges they faced and strides they have made in their areas, we learn and take inspiration and are empowered to push barriers, advocate for all rights and to always work towards being more inclusive and diverse for our society now and for future generations. It shows us that there are no limitations and that so long as there is equitable support and respect, anyone can push barriers and succeed!

Why does the theme, inspire inclusion matter to you?

If we think about the two words – inspire and inclusion – we speak about being kind, fair, compassionate, and ensuring that whether we are in a workplace or in our personal lives we are giving space to diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. By doing so we ensure that innovation is adopted with a diverse scope of creativity and viewpoints. When we support diversity, we are building one another up and when we build one another up, everyone has an opportunity to thrive and succeed. As a society we are building stronger relationships with trust, respect, and sense of being valued. And when a person is valued and respected, there is space for positivity and strong bonds and sense of belonging in our society. And when we have that we have space of creating space for positive change for our society and future generations.


As our organisation grows, we’re committed to supporting the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, which is working towards a world that embraces equity. A world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, inclusive and where difference is valued and celebrated.

More information can be found on the International Women’s Day website.