Meet the women of Nuffield Health - Sharon Helsby

In the lead up to International Women’s Day (8th 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 Sharon Helsby.

Can you tell us about your role at Nuffield Health?

I am a Regional physiotherapy lead and I am also part of the Woking Hospital Physiotherapy team doing 2 days a week leadership duties and 2 days a week, clinical duties.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I consider international women's day to be a focal point in the movement of women's rights. It’s a time to reflect on the progress made on gender equality and celebrate the unique and individual qualities of every woman. It’s important to me that we have a fair representation of women in our senior leadership team positions. I am proud to say that I am part of a gender diverse leadership team, where all our opinions are valued equally. International women’s day is a great way to celebrate this and encourage and inspire other women to reach their full potential and consider leadership opportunities when they come their way.

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

I think balancing family life with a demanding leadership role can put many women off considering promotional opportunities. My biggest challenge was having a regional lead role at the same time as having a young family. The role involved lots of travelling because the region covered Brighton to Norwich. I would feel guilty if I had to miss the occasional children's assembly or open evening and if I did manage to get there then I would feel guilty for not being at work. Getting this balance right requires good time management and prioritisation in both your work and home life, it took me a while to achieve this balance but working for a company that support flexible working hours helped to overcome this.

Which woman has inspired you and why?

If I had to pick one woman that has inspired me the most then I would pick my 18-year-old daughter Emily. There is nothing like having a daughter to make you reflect on the type of women you want them to see you as. It has always been important to me to be a strong female role model for my daughter so that she realises that she too can overcome barriers and achieve her full potential. I don’t want her to think that there is a limit to what she can achieve, and I think by seeing her mum in a leadership role with a good work life balance gives her the right message. I am also proud to work for a company where the Charity & medical director is a woman. Davina Deniszczyc is an inspiring leader who is passionate about her role and is true to the charity’s values. Davina took the time to meet with the Regional Physiotherapy Lead's when we first came into post and she has been nothing but encouraging and supportive to us as team.

Last updated Thursday 4 March 2021

First published on Thursday 4 March 2021