Deputy PM Nick Clegg’s wife joined hundreds of medics at the launch of a new Sheffield network which aims to stop under-representation of women in top jobs.
Students, doctors, consultants and academics attended the first event organised by the Sheffield Women in Medicine Network.
Key speakers included Miriam González Durántez – a partner at an international law firm, campaign figurehead and wife of Sheffield Hallam MP Mr Clegg.
They told a packed crowd about the personal challenges they have faced during their careers as well as exploring the history of gender divides.
Dr Alenka Brooks, a specialist registrar in gastroenterology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The event was a great success, and it was fantastic to hear from so many inspiring female role models about the history of women in medicine and that gender divides can begin as early as the age of six.”
The network was launched by a group of junior and senior doctors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Sheffield academics to tackle under-representation of women at the top of medicine and academia.
It is designed to inspire and support women at all stages of their careers.
Kayleigh Smith, a first year medical student at the University of Sheffield, said: “It was an incredibly enjoyable and inspiring experience from start to finish.
“Listening to women, such as Dr Alenka Brooks, Miriam González Durántez and Professor Jane Dacre, honestly and openly discuss challenges they have faced was both humbling and inspiring.
“As a first year medical student I was also pleased to see school students and medical students of all years attending the event and I particularly enjoyed the networking event once the speeches and panel discussion had finished.
“Role models in both your personal life and professional life are vital and, after this event, I have several more.”
The talk, called Inspiring the Future, took place at the Medical School at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
Professor Jane Dacre, director of University College London Medical School, who was hailed by the Health Service Journal on its list of inspirational women last year, was a key speaker.
A panel discussion was also led by Suzie Bailey, head of development at health watchdog Monitor.