Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today, Wednesday 8 March, we celebrate International Women’s Day by highlighting the work of our Women’s Staff Network and the story of one of our colleagues, Nicola Thorne.

Since October 2020, the Women’s Staff Network has had a real impact on our hospital by helping to produce new policies such as the “Breastfeeding at Work” policy, the “Menopause at Work” policy and helped launching the “Change and Check” campaign.

The network is led by colleagues that have an interest in improving experiences of our female staff including their wellbeing and addressing career progression.

Nicola Thorne, Senior Medical Secretary in Paediatrics, is part of the network.

“I am a strong believer in providing flexible working to mums to allow them to have great careers whilst still being able to enjoy family life,” she said.

Nicola joined NNUH almost four years ago, she’s a mum to two children, aged 11 and seven, and works full time from home and in the office.

“I left school at 16 and had various small jobs until I fell into dental nursing, almost by accident, at the age of 19,” added Nicola.

“I worked in dentistry for 10 years working my up from trainee nurse to practice manager of two dental practices.

“In 2019 I decided that I needed to be more present for my family, my children were desperately unhappy and in turn this made me feel the same.

“I loved my job, but I fell out of love with it. It was long, unpaid hours and my mental health was being affected. I decided to step away from my career and then I came across the Paediatric admin position at the hospital and went for it.

“During the first lockdown, I was juggling working full-time and trying to teach two separate curriculums to two different aged children along with my husband. Some days were painfully hard, but a definite positive for me was having the opportunity to be able to work from home.

“This made an awful scary situation feel much more manageable, knowing I could be there for my children and still be helping the hospital, the team and the patients I care about.

“I am very passionate about wellbeing, mental health, safeguarding and women’s equality and I plan to explore these as much as I can within my role.”

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