Apply now: tailor-made internships for women in senior leadership roles


We're pleased to invite women who are senior leaders in the NHS in England to apply for tailor-made internships in a non-NHS industry. These will support their preparation for executive director roles, develop their leadership style and improve their effectiveness.

How will we support successful applicants?

We're looking to award two six-month internships to mark Ed Smith’s departure from his role as Chair of NHS Improvement earlier this year. 

The successful applicants will be supported by The Whitehall & Industry Group which has a track record of developing talented individuals with the potential to reach top leadership roles.

The Whitehall and Industry Group’s process involves identifying an intern’s strengths and personal development objectives and matching them with the most appropriate non-NHS organisation to meet these. The host then provides a custom-built, senior role that maximises the use of the intern’s current skills and expertise, and allows them to develop transferable skills. 

Who can apply?

You are eligible to apply if you are a woman working as a senior leader, directly below board level, which could include associate director in an NHS trust or foundation trust. You are likely to be working in an Agenda for Change (AfC) Band 8d or 9 role. The award will cover the cost of your salary to your employer. You will need to secure your organisation’s support to take up the internship early in the financial year 2018/19.

How to apply?

If you are interested in applying please complete and return the application form by Monday 13 November 2017.

We will send invitations to interview before Christmas and hold interviews in mid-January 2018.

These awards celebrate Ed’s tireless work to improve diversity in the NHS, which includes the need for women to be given an equal and fair chance to reach the most senior leadership positions. Ed demonstrated his commitment to this cause in all his work with NHS Improvement, and specifically by championing the '50:50 by 2020' initiative and his backing for the Health and Care Women Leaders Network (delivered by NHS Confederation and NHS Employers).

The importance of having a continued focus on diversity was highlighted at Health and Care Expo earlier this month, where NHS Improvement’s launch of Phase 2 of the Culture and Leadership Toolkit  reminded us that we still have a long way to go to create a level playing field.

These are great opportunities for women with the potential to take on executive director roles in the near future, to extend their networks and enjoy the exposure to a different culture and organisational methods.

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive, NHS Improvement

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