North-East doctor strives to stem medical science gender gap

AN inspiring scientist has been appointed to a prestigious national fellowship to mentor future female medical physicists and engineers.

Dr Charlotte Kemp, head of clinical measurement, consultant clinical scientist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was named as one of four successful appointees to the first Chief Scientific Officer’s (CSO) Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Fellowship scheme, NHS England has announced.

“We’re all incredibly proud of Dr Kemp. There is serious under-representation of women in the sciences and this fellowship seeks to tackle that by inspiring younger women to consider those careers.”

Siobhan McArdle, Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The competition, launched in conjunction with International Women’s day in March 2016, attracted over 60 applicants from female healthcare scientists, with just four appointed to the WISE Fellowship Programme.

The bespoke, 12-month initiative will campaign to promote women in science, technology and engineering.

Dr Kemp said: “I am delighted to have been awarded this fellowship. As I feel passionately about implementing the latest scientific and engineering techniques into the healthcare setting, I’m looking forward to the mentoring from leaders in industry, healthcare and academia, and using the communication and leadership skills training that I will receive to make a difference.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to raise the profile of my profession and to reach out to young women as a role model and ambassador, with a particular aim to show how exciting, diverse and worthwhile a career in Medical Physics and Engineering can be.”

Dr Charlotte Kemp, head of clinical measurement, consultant clinical scientist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Sue Hill OBE, Chief Scientific Officer for England, said the initiative was a unique opportunity to inspire the next generation of female science students, gain leadership experience and showcase the wide variety of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based careers within the NHS.

Dr Charlotte Kemp, head of clinical measurement, consultant clinical scientist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Charlotte Kemp, head of clinical measurement, consultant clinical scientist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“I am proud to announce the fellows who now have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of female scientists,” she explained.

“We have been working with WISE to create this fellowship scheme and support the aim of getting one million more women working in the UK STEM workforce.

“The NHS Constitution makes it clear that a central principle of the health service is that it ‘operates at the limits of science’.”

Siobhan McArdle, Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We’re all incredibly proud of Dr Kemp.

“There is serious under-representation of women in the sciences and this fellowship seeks to tackle that by inspiring younger women to consider those careers.

“Leaders like Charlotte and the other three fellowship members will play an important role in this and I wish them every success in this challenging endeavour.”

The fellowship includes a career development programme, providing mentoring support, communication and leadership skills training starting in September 2016. In addition to allocated training, activity and network days, the fellows will attend both the WISE and Chief Scientific Officer conferences later in the year.

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