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Our aim is for EVERY healthcare event to have balanced gender representation.

Too often, we hear that conference organisers 'couldn't find a woman' to speak. Time and time again we see predominantly male speakers on conference panels, plenary sessions and keynotes.

We know this is not for a lack of phenomenal women speakers. We know these women exist, and we want to make sure that they are offered the same opportunities as their male colleagues to speak at healthcare events and conferences.

We are Women Speakers in Healthcare (WSH). We are building the UK's largest database of female healthcare professionals who have an interest in speaking at these events, so that conference organisers know exactly where to find us.

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WSH was founded by five NHS women who were brought together by frustration at seeing so many all-male panels (manels) and all male keynote speakers at conferences.

Diversity benefits everyone, and we believe all healthcare events should be gender balanced.

All women, in all NHS professions, are welcomed to join us and end ‘manels’ forever.

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The WSH team from L-R: Nada Al-Hadithy, Katie Knight, Lucia Magee, Greta McLachlan, Rose Penfold



Dr. Lucia Magee

Dr. Lucia Magee currently works as an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) at the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s, University of London and as a General Practice registrar in South-West London. Her current research interests are in health behaviour change.

Lucia’s career to date has included working in a number of settings across primary care, academia and health policy. Prior to her ACF post she worked within the Primary Care Team at NHS-England, where she developed her interest in health policy and clinical leadership. She delivered on a number of workstreams including optimising primary and secondary care interface working, professional leadership development and patient safety. 

Her previous academic work includes a variety of publications on child health, including the most recent Cochrane review on interventions to improve obesity in children. Lucia has undertaken several prize-winning quality improvement initiatives to improve frontline care, presenting work within National and International fora.

Lucia co-founded Women Speakers in Healthcare to ensure all healthcare events have gender balanced panels and to help women feel empowered to seek equality in the workplace.

Twitter: @LMagee3

Dr. Greta McLachlan

Dr. Greta McLachlan is a Higher General Surgical Trainee working in the UK. She completed her Medical Degree at the University of Leeds, and now lives and works in London.

She was appointed as one of the National Medical Directors Clinical Fellows in 2018 and worked as the Editorial Registrar at the BMJ. She is now working at the General Medical Council two days a week and Cleveland Clinic London three days a week.

During the Covid outbreak, she worked at NHS England and Improvement’s Strategic Planning and Development Cell, for three months working on national guidance, strategy and the response to Covid.

She has worked as an Anatomy Demonstrator at King’s College University, and also taught anatomy at the London School of Osteopathy. She has written on a diverse range of topics, including the healthcare system in Australia, gender discrimination in surgery and leadership within the NHS.

In 2020 she was named as one of GO magazine’s 100 Women We Love.

Greta grew up with a severely disabled brother, Piers. This experience taught her about the importance as well as the difficulties of equality, compassion and inclusion. In her spare time she enjoys listening to podcasts, reading and laughing with her wife.

Twitter: @GeeMclachlan

Dr Rose Penfold

Dr Rose Penfold is currently an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Geriatric Medicine, based in South London. She grew up in rural Somerset before undertaking her medical degree at Cambridge (MA) and Oxford (BMBCh) University. She aspires to apply her research to inform health policy; she completed a Master of Public Health at Harvard University and met her WSH co-founders whilst appointed as a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow at NHS England & Improvement in 2019. Rose has become increasingly aware of gender-based disparities in clinical medicine, academia and healthcare leadership and is excited by the opportunity to collectively identify and address these.

Outside of work, she is the proud owner of Tabitha the cat and can usually be found avidly reading, writing or running very long distances with her local running club.

Twitter: @rosespenfold

Dr. Nada Al-Hadithy

Dr Nada Al-Hadithy is currently on maternity leave. She will return to work as a Training Interface Group (TIG) Fellow at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in upper limb surgery. This advanced special interest training will lead to the completion of her plastic surgery training. Prior to this Nada worked as a National Medical Director’s clinical leadership fellow at the Strategy Unit in the Department of Health and Social Care, where she built on her interest in health policy and clinical leadership. She was the clinical lead on data transparency project in the NHS and this was delivered to the newly founded NHSX to be built upon. Other workstreams included optimising rural health care, mitigating risks from opioids, delivering sustainable healthcare and improving diversity of leadership. 

Nada attended University College London for her medical school and completed an intercalated degree in Philosophy at King's College London. She completed her medical degree with numerous prizes and a merit. She secured the only plastic surgery training number in the country in her year of application. 

Nada has completed a MD at Edinburgh University in patient reported outcome measures resulting in a tool in use by British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons and a range of services which deliver massive weight loss services. As part of this work she worked with NHS England and on healthcare commissioning and patient pathways for massive weight loss patients. Nada is passionate about sustainable global health with a focus on quality in medical education and previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer for MedicineAfrica - where she was instrumental in securing a £800,000 grant from THET. She has also completed a postgraduate diploma in medical education. Nada has published 2 book chapters in the Oxford Textbook of the Fundamentals of Surgery and other academic work includes a variety of publications on trauma, electrochemotherapy and skin cancer. Nada has undertaken several prize-winning quality improvement initiatives including streamlining access to palliative treatment for end stage skin cancer in the South West - this work has been presented at National and International fora.

As a female BME surgical trainee with children Nada has experienced structural race and gender discrimination and understands first hand the profound impact it can have. Nada co-founded Women Speakers in Healthcare to help make women leaders visible and inspire a network of supportive women and men to speak up for greater equity in all walks of life. 

Twitter: @HadithyNada 

Dr Katie Knight

Dr Katie Knight is a Paediatric Emergency Medicine consultant in North London. She is a long time supporter and active member of the Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAMed) community, and is the founder and lead editor of, a popular paediatric education website endorsed by the London School of Paediatrics. 

She was a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow in 2018-2019 and spent this time working at Health Education England on projects including the Pearson Commission national report into the mental wellbeing of NHS staff and learners, and redefining the role of educational supervision for postgraduate doctors in training. She has presented nationally on both of these topics.

Katie is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of delivering healthcare and is a founding member of the North Middlesex Hospital Sustainability Forum. She was part of the team of paediatricians that successfully lobbied the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to declare a climate emergency.

When not at work, Katie will often be found up a climbing wall, and sometimes on stage performing with the Independent Musicians Collective.

Twitter: @_katieknight_

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