Women in Health and Safety

Women in Health and Safety is a thriving network of people who support gender equality and want to see women flourish in the health & safety profession. Set up by SHP in 2015, it’s a hub of events, content and networking opportunities. Our get-togethers and resources are always completely free and open to all, and both men and women are actively encouraged to join us.

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Timeline

About

  • 5,000+ people have attended one of our events, which take place all over the UK and online.
  • As well as events, committee workstreams now cover: mentoring programmes; getting young people into the profession; and amplifying women’s voices.
  • Safety & Health Expo hosts our biggest annual celebration.
  • HSE, NEBOSH, Mace, HSE Recruitment, HSW Consultants, Shirley Parsons, Acre, Hays and Redcat have all hosted events.

Latest news

Upcoming events

SHP Meets Women In Health And Safety

SHP has carried out a series of interviews with the aim of amplifying the voices of women in the profession. Some of the topics covered affect women more than men. Some are deeply personal. It’s our belief that we bring our whole selves to work and therefore should be able to talk about all sorts of issues that affect us, day-to-day, in a work setting.

Click here to read these articles…

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Past events

Events have taken place all over the country, in cities including Norwich, London, Birmingham, Leicester, Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Take a look at highlights videos and photos of some of our events below. For more past events highlights see the posts below:

The Women in Health and Safety committee

SHP works with a committee to determine the best direction for Women in Health and Safety. We meet quarterly to assess feedback from recent activity and discuss plans for the next quarter. Committee members include:

      • Amy Sadro, Principal Associate, Environment, Health and Safety Team, Eversheds Sutherland International LLP
      • Anastasia Hayden, Senior Health Safety Environment Advisor, Knight Frank
      • Anne Gardner-Aston, Group Health, Safety & Wellbeing Director, Places for People
      • Aoife Devaney, Health and Safety Assistant, St George Developments
      • Barbara Marino, Director, ORSA Projects
      • Charlotte Geoghegan, Event Manager, Safety & Health Expo, Workplace Wellbeing Show and SHP
      • Charlotte Taylor, Senior Health & Safety Advisory, Morgan Sindall
      • Chinwe Okeke, Director, Health Safety Security & Environment
      • Claire Saunders, Health and Safety Consultant
      • Donna Walker, Safety and Security Manager EMEA, Splunk
      • Emma Hughes, Collaboration Learning and Improvement Champion, A-one+ Integated Highway Services
      • Gillian Simcox, Senior Health and Safety Manager, Social Security Scotland
      • Heather Beach, Managing Director, The Healthy Work Company
      • Ian Hart, Editor, SHP
      • Jennifer Mulgrew-Smith, Head of Health & Safety, University of the Arts London
      • Jonathan Dempsey, Red Laces
      • Karen McDonnell, Occupational Health & Safety Policy Adviser, RoSPA
      • Rebecca Walpole, Health and Safety Manager, Freshfields
      • Ruth Denyer, Director, Production Safety, Netflix
      • Sarah McDowell, Health and Safety Consultant, Arup
      • Victoria Coates, HSEQ Manager, DPS Group

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Gallery of past events

                    

‘People can find it hard to recognise success in people who do things differently’

Samantha Mepham, Health and Safety Partner at Rider Levett Bucknall, discusses the challenges she has navigated as a woman in health and safety.

Work-related suicide: A Women in Health & Safety webinar

Women in Health & Safety Network is set to host it’s next virtual event, a webinar covering work-related suicide and the reporting data around it. The session will take place on Friday Jun 10 and is open to all, male and female, members and non-members.

3 reasons a young person should consider a career in health & safety

Melissa Mark-Joyce discusses why health and safety professionals need to play their part in encouraging young people to embark on careers.

‘I like being challenged, I use it as an opportunity to learn and share my knowledge with others,’ SHP meets Shari Bowen

SHP speaks to Shari Bowen, who was named SHP’s International Rising Star in December, as part of the wider SHP Awards 2021.

Health experts share priorities for Women’s Health Strategy

Report published summarising written responses to the women’s health call for evidence from 436 organisations and experts in women’s health.

Connect with Women in Health & Safety at Safety & Health Expo

Women in Health & Safety Network to hold first in-person meet-up in two years, at London’s ExCeL.

‘It doesn’t matter if you’re female or male, have one years’ experience or 10, it’s your expertise and knowledge that people are interested in,’ SHP meets Cindy Bell

SHP speaks to Cindy Bell, who was named both SHP’s Rising Star in Manufacturing and Rising Star UK in December in the SHP Awards 2021.

Psychological health and safety and equity, diversity and inclusion – what’s the link?

An Eversheds Sutherland and Women in Health and Safety network partner event for Stress Awareness Month, taking place from 11am-12noon on Friday 22 April 2022.

‘We shouldn’t feel as though we have to diminish how we’re feeling because someone, somewhere has things worse’ – Daisy Silcock on the importance of keeping the mental health conversation alive

Daisy Silcock shares her experience dealing with mental health struggles and why this ultimately led her to start her own business. She also discusses what employers can do to help break the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace. 

Starting out in a career in health & safety

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from two women at the start of their careers, speaking about their journey into health & safety and the challenges they have faced along the way.

Who is Mandy Hickson, inspirational speaker at Safety & Health Expo 2022?

Former fighter pilot Mandy Hickson joins the Inspirational Speaker line-up for Safety & Health Expo 2022, which takes place at London’s ExCeL from 17-19 May.

‘I’m a warrior, I’m quick to act and roll up my sleeves’, OneWISH – Breaking the bias for International Women’s Day

One International Women’s Day 2022, OneWISH hosted a series of webinars following the theme ‘Break the Bias’.

‘I hid the fact I was pregnant for a long time at work; I feared being replaced’, OneWISH – Breaking the bias for International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day 2022, OneWISH, hosted a series of webinars following the theme ‘Break the Bias’.

How can we overcome gender bias in the workplace?

In the final part of this mini-series, we look at what can be done within workplaces to overcome some of the issues we’ve discussed so far.

What are the challenges and advantages for women working in a male-dominated environment?

In the second part of this mini-series, we look at some of the challenges and advantages faced by women working in the profession.

Encouraging more female talent to take up a career in safety

To mark International Women’s Day 2022, Candace Francis talks about goals and ambitions and explores four ways we can inspire girls and women to see health and safety as a viable career option.

Why does gender bias and discrimination exist in the workplace?

SHP speaks to eight health & safety professionals to learn their views on why gender bias exists and hears some of their personal stories and experiences.

‘It takes more than qualifications to progress in health and safety, a lot of women lack confidence – you have to address that first’

SHP speaks to Shurene Bishop about building a unique brand, how to best go about asking for a pay-rise and her tips for building confidence.

‘It’s all about balance, yes, there are things I feel guilty about, but I prioritise in the best way I can’ – Karen Godfrey on the impact of COVID on working mums

Karen Godfrey, SHE Manager, Morgan Sindall Construction, shares her experience of juggling a career and home-schooling her children during the pandemic.

Looking beyond pregnant workers and new mothers with women’s health

Danny Clarke, Founder of Simply-People, highlights an increased need for better awareness of the various health struggles facing women in the workplace. 

Making the leap into gas

Gina Siebler shares her experiences of moving into a new industry, discussing how she overcame the challenges and how she has adapted, highlighting that a lack of experience in a specific sector, doesn’t need to be a stumbling block when progressing your career.

Women’s safety campaigners left ‘insulted’ by Home Office backing of women’s safety app

Women’s safety campaigners are calling the Home Office’s backing of an app that allows users to track their friends’ journeys home “insulting”.

Women’s wellbeing in male-dominated industries

Commerical Director at the National Federation of Builders, highlights what needs to be done to ensure significant change in workplace culture.

Women’s health – We need to do more

Danny Clarke, Founder of Simply-People, explores what businesses can do to best support their female employees. 

‘Some people will hit a crisis level in their wellbeing, and we need to help them prepare for that’

SHP speaks to Tiffany Argent, to gain an insight into the varying impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on people’s wellbeing.

‘Profession must continue demonstrating value,’ Louise Hosking takes over as IOSH President

New IOSH President, Louise Hosking, is calling on her profession to demonstrate how it can continue adding value to businesses through creating “inclusive, healthy and psychologically safe” workplaces.

OneWISH announces global live event in support of Stress Awareness Week

OneWISH announces its November live event, bringing together expert speakers, panellists and the latest research within the OHS profession.

How businesses can better support menopausal women

Alaana Woods, Commercial Director at Bupa Health Clinics, says it’s time to put menopause on the top of the business agenda and address the taboo. Here, she outlines some ways businesses can help support women in their organisation.

Baby Loss Awareness Week: ‘Review your bereavement leave policy and consider signing up to the Pregnancy Loss Pledge’

SHP speaks to Jyssica Murphy, Divisional Heath, Safety & Environmental Manager at Redrow Homes, about her experience of miscarriage and how opening up to friends, family, colleagues and her employer helped her to deal with her loss. Jyssica also provides advice to employers and employees on how support a colleague who has experienced a loss.

Women in health and safety benefit from RoSPA and L’Oreal’s ‘Leading Safely’ mentoring scheme

RoSPA and L’Oreal’s, Leading Safely for Women programme gathers momentum with its November course in high demand.

Breast cancer – My story and advice for supporting colleagues – In conversation with Pauline Haggar

Pauline Haggar was diagnosed with breast cancer on 2 July 2018. What followed was an intense period of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. She continued to work as much as possible throughout her treatment. In this interview, she explains how it affected her at work – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

What I’ve learned from supporting colleagues with cancer and their caregivers: In conversation with Kate Field

Kate Field has supported several colleagues living with cancer. This has included supporting individuals during treatment and on their return to work, as well as supporting caregivers whose loved ones have had cancer. In this interview Kate explains how she’s seen cancer impact people’s working lives and suggests ways in which employers can help.

Depression, burnout and how to talk about mental health at work – My story, by Ann Diment

Ann Diment is Director of Work Safe and Well, transforming burned out professionals into resilient and compassionate leaders. She wants to smash the stigma of talking about mental health, to empower everyone to start those ‘difficult’ conversations so they can become more confident and creative leaders.  

My experience of workplace stress, in an organisation that didn’t see occupational stress as an issue: In conversation with Kate Field

Kate Field has never had a diagnosed mental illness or received medical treatment for her mental health. But like so many, she has certainly suffered with her mental health.

My breast cancer story and the amazing support I had from work: In conversation with Josie Overton

Josie Overton was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, which was treated with surgery. In this interview she talks about what she went through physically and emotionally, focussing on how it affected her at work and the support she had from colleagues.

The Building Safety Bill and the role of fire engineers in fire and building safety

The Women in Health & Safety network’s next virtual event takes place on Tuesday July 20. The event is free to attend and is open to all, male and female, member and non-members.

‘Miscarriage should not be a taboo subject’ – a personal account of recurrent miscarriage, in conversation with Jacqui Hunt

Jacqui Hunt has had eight, painful miscarriages. Here, she tells her story in the hope it becomes less of a taboo topic. She wants women who have experienced miscarriage to feel empowered to share their own stories (whether that’s very openly or just with someone close to them) and for others to understand how important it is to listen.

Imposter syndrome: 4 health & safety professionals on how it’s affected them

Women are particularly likely to experience imposter syndrome (and there has been much research done to understand why). In this article, we speak to four women about their experience of the condition, how it makes them feel, what they do to manage it and how employers can help.

‘Domestic abuse is everybody’s business and people need to take a stand and listen’

Statistics from before the pandemic show that one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime; 56% of employers say that domestic abuse leads to absenteeism and 54% to a reduction in quality of work…

Does the equality maxim of ‘gender neutrality’ put women at greater health and safety risk?

Lorenzo Visentin explores the gender sensitive approach to risk, delving into some historic and more recent case study examples.

Join ‘virtual cuppa’ with Women in Health and Safety

Women in Health and Safety is back with two more ‘virtual cuppas’, this time designed to discuss opportunities for mentors and mentees.

Why are there so few female Chartered Fellows in IOSH?

Claire Saunders CFIOSH is one of just 0.1% of chartered Fellows within IOSH that are women. In this article, she asks whether IOSH should be doing more to help its female members to become Fellows, whether women are creating their own barriers and provides some information on getting your Fellowship Portfolio together.

How to support women’s health in the workplace

Some small, but achievable, steps to help promote women’s health in the workplace.

Leading Safely for Women programme launched by RoSPA and L’Oréal

‘Visible, Connected and Empowered in OSH’, RoSPA and L’Oréal have partnered to launch their Leading Safely for Women programme, the aim being to support what both organisations see as an underrepresented group in health & safety.

Lessons from Grenfell: Why aren’t we learning?

In episode 8 of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Gill Kernick about the pressing need to improve building safety culture post-Grenfell. We then look ahead to 2021 with some news from the Women in Safety & Health Network, plus hear an update on the One Percent Safer Foundation.

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Downloads

Why smart quality professionals deny serious risks in a post-pandemic world

Building Safety Bill round-up

Feedback from the field: Researching frontline experience

The ROI of safety: Making the business case for safety and health

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