Meet the women of Nuffield Health - Jennie Bent

International Women’s Day (8th March) is a chance for people all over the world to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, increasing visibility and raising awareness about gender inequality across the world.

In the lead up to the day, we have interviewed some of our inspirational women to discuss the challenges and bias women face today and the women that inspired them.

Can you tell us about your role at Nuffield Health? 

I’m responsible for radiology and cardiac diagnostic services at Nuffield Health St Bartholomew’s Hospital. This involves project, strategic and operational management, and working with a great clinical team to deliver our hospital vision of being London’s most trusted independent hospital.  

What do you think has changed for women between when you started your career and now? 

What strikes me the most is reflecting back to when I finished school, I remember my careers adviser presenting career pathways on the basis that they were ‘woman/family friendly’.  This wasn’t something I was thinking about at 18 years old, but I guess it explains why some industries/positions are male dominated.   

I’m hopeful this isn’t still the case today, and I can see there has been emergence in the last 10 years or so of prominent female leaders in a variety of formerly male-dominated industries. 

There’s also increasing awareness that while the male-female pay gap has been slowing, the pay gap between women of different ethnicities has not followed the same trend, so there is still work to do.     

What attitudes or biases do you still recognise around us? 

Studying and working in healthcare has been a constant factor in my life through being a student, professional, mother - and mostly, experiencing all of those things at once.  

In the last few years, I have come to understand that biases aimed towards women don’t only come from external sources, but also from ourselves. The stress and guilt of my own preconceptions of what a ‘successful’ woman is, trying to ‘have it all’ was exhausting. 

I really had to learn that I’m on my own journey and protect my own wellbeing.  I found doing this helps me to be the best version of myself at work and at home, though it’s still a challenge and a constant balance of the two lives.   


Where do you notice your womanhood boosting you as a leader? 

I think women can balance both strength and vulnerability, which can boost our ability to lead. 

Where do you notice your womanhood becoming a barrier for you? 

Returning to work after having my daughter was tough, but not a barrier.  I almost felt like I had to re-learn my identity at work, which took time. 

Which woman has inspired you and why? 

Probably my biggest influence in terms of supporting and inspiring me was my mum.  I grew up in a tough part of north London and my mum always challenged us to be curious and ambitious.  She made some pretty amazing Greek food too! 

Last updated Saturday 5 March 2022

First published on Saturday 5 March 2022