Meet the Women of Nuffield Health – Mirriam Ngala

In the lead up to International Women’s Day (8 March), we have interviewed some of the inspirational women working at Nuffield Health to discuss the challenges women face today and the women that inspired them. Here we talk to Mirriam Ngala.

Can you tell us about your role at Nuffield Health?

I am the Pathology Manager at our Hub Laboratory at the Leeds Nuffield Hospital. My role which I enjoy is varied and includes supporting the team to deliver a high quality and efficient diagnostics service to our Hospital in Leeds and York, providing remote support for our designated Fitness and Wellbeing centres and managing the relationships with our external clients.

My work experience is in both research and diagnostic laboratory sciences with my first role being in an HIV/AIDS Research centre in Lusaka, Zambia. On completion of my post graduate studies, I transitioned into diagnostic laboratory sciences as I wanted to gain working experience in a multidisciplinary diagnostic laboratory.

I realised quite early on in my management journey that being flexible and committed would be at the core of my role and this helped me to settle in. I am first a Biomedical Scientist, which means that when required I join the team to complete the task at hand.

I work with a fantastic team who are experienced and deliver an exceptional service. During these challenging times, we have been busy and we have played a role in supporting the National Health Service by providing the required resources for our clinical teams in our hospitals. 

I am passionate about seeing individuals thrive and develop. Our Hub laboratory participates in the training of non-Health and Care Professional Council registered Biomedical Scientists who join us as Trainee Biomedical Scientists or as Medical Laboratory Assistants to enable them to complete their registration portfolios. A number of our Medical Laboratory Assistants have also been able to participate and obtain part of the Certificate of Achievement qualifications.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is still as relevant as it was when first celebrated in 1911. It serves as a reminder that there is still a lot more to be done for women. Some changes are happening but there is a need for acceleration at the pace at which these changes are happening. This day also gives us a chance to celebrate the achievements of Women especially in unchartered territories where we have not been and have not had representation.

The theme #ChoosetoChallenge is appropriate calling us to choose to challenge to enable change to happen.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for women today and what has been your biggest challenge?

One of the challenges for Women in Leadership is fear of failure.  At times we are defeated within ourselves even before we start and as a result, we do nothing about our goals and dreams. We would rather stay in our comfort zone to avoid the possibility of failing. By not acting and not putting ourselves forward, we are depriving the world of our gifts and talents. It is true that “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” – Hillary Clinton, America politician

I remind myself that if I fail, I will consider that as a trial run, I will review my plans and go again. To combat fear of failure, it is also important that we are strategic by preparing and working on activities that will contribute to attaining our goals. This may mean investing our time and resources into these activities.

Mentorships will remain important and so is the need for resources to make access widely available. It is ok to ask for help and advice and I am grateful that I am surrounded and supported by a great team.  Therefore, I #choosetochallenge fear of failure and be that voice of support and inspiration to other women.  

Which woman has inspired you and why?

In this present moment, the spotlight is on Dr Ngozi Ikonjo Iweala recently appointed as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General. She is the first female, first African female to head the WTO. She is taking on the role when the world is going through a challenging economic time fuelled by the pandemic.

Her agenda is global with the participation of women in international trade especially in developing countries being one of her top priorities. She is an example of a woman going into territories where until yesterday we had not been as women, If you have a dream, make it a goal.” – Unknown

As we celebrate International Women’s Day I #choosetochallenge myself to be courageous and be an inspiration.

Last updated Friday 5 March 2021

First published on Friday 5 March 2021