25 Women Steering Group

This page details the members of the steering group that created and managed the 25 Women project.

25 Women project steering group

Steering group members (as pictured from left to right):

WMHSIG CoChair, Consultant Psychiatrist and Consultant Psychotherapist and Director of Medical Education, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust 

I work with women every day as a Consultant Psychiatrist in a women’s service and as a Consultant Psychotherapist and DME for the NHS in rural Lincolnshire.

I had a rich matriarchal upbringing; my mother was my hero and my role model and she seemed to embody feminism.  She played an important role in founding a women’s university in Southern India.

So from an early age, I have found it easy to work with, and celebrate, the success of other women. I really enjoy supporting women to make the most of their potential, whether it is patients under my care or trainees that I am supporting; all the while drawing on those early experiences with my mother.

The 25 Women project has been a dream come true for my co-chair, Ruth, and I.  What a pleasure and a privilege it has been to highlight the journey of these amazing women in psychiatry!

I have had so much fun working with like-minded women in the project group; it has filled me with a sense of solidarity and sisterhood in these challenging times as we have let our creativity flow.

Director of Exeter Stress Clinic, Co-Founder of cRxeate, Creativity Lead, WMHSIG Executive Committee

After gaining my CCTs in General Adult Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry in 1997 I had, by choice, a time out of medicine pursuing a career in Fine Art, mediation, a food and drink business and bringing up my young family in rural Devon. 

After returning to medicine as a specialist psychological trauma and anxiety therapist I decided to co-found a creativity support and networking forum for medical professionals called cRxeate. Thus when I heard about the opportunity of helping with a special celebration of women psychiatrists including the making of a film in tribute, I was eager to be involved.

I believe that we must try to change the landscapes through which women doctors feel represented and valued throughout their lives. Any creative ventures like ‘25 Women’ dedicated to this mission are exceptionally important right now if we want to see more women doctors thrive.

WMHSIG Co-Chair and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust 

This project grew from the seed of an idea Beena and I had the first day we met each other. It's been incredible to grow this seed into a beautiful and fruitful tree through the energy and creativity of our group, the 25 Women, and College support. 

I've been most invested in building up a strong, inspiring range of narratives that illustrate how we achieve and how we come through hardship. These are the stories I wish I could have read earlier in my career; I'm so pleased we will have them as a lasting resource for us all. 

Finance Officer for WMHSIG, and Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and 

My own career journey and personal experiences have led to a strong interest in how experiences of trauma, adversity, inequality and discrimination impact on those who experience mental ill-health, but also how these issues can manifest in our own profession, systems and services. 

Psychiatry, sadly, in its history and development has often discriminated against, alienated and misunderstood the challenges of those who we see, entrenching stigma most importantly for our patients but also for our profession. However, this is not my experience of modern psychiatry and rather I see that the best psychiatrists seek to do the absolute opposite; to understand, to care and to heal. When we do not get things right (as we all do at times) we reflect, we apologise, and we learn.

We must continue to encourage, listen and actively embrace varied voices and expertise in our workforce in a way that better represents the human experience. 

I have felt so proud to be part of this project showcasing the stories of 25 amazing women psychiatrists. I hope that through hearing from them we are able to reflect on the unique contribution that women bring to psychiatry, most importantly just from being themselves. 

ST6 Registrar, General Adult Psychiatry, Nottinghamshire, WMHSIG Executive Committee Member

Through my involvement in the 25 Women project, and facing a significant point in my career, I have been reflecting on what drives me and the women who have influenced me.

My grandmother was a vibrant woman, passionate about culture and people. She was a true rebel against what society expected of her. My mother was always determined, vocal and unbothered by others’ opinions about her. She pursued a career in engineering at a time where she would often be the only woman in the room. The need to challenge what is expected and where barriers seem ridiculous was always important. Mental illness was also a struggle for some of the women in my family and so I am powerfully drawn to working with women with similar difficulties.

Throughout my career I have met many inspiring women who have been determined to create a more understanding system that is able to learn and change both for the benefit of the people we see but also our colleagues. It has been wonderful to join the WMHSIG committee and make connections with like-minded and passionate souls. It has been a joy to be part of this project particularly as opportunities to be artistic are rare in medicine. It is a chance to develop a piece of work that documents a moment in time where we can celebrate the achievements of a diverse and dedicated group of women but also see where we need to go from here.

Specialty Registrar in Adult Psychiatry, East London NHS Foundation Trust, WMHSIG Executive Committee Member

I completed my degree in Medicine and Surgery and trained in General Adult Psychiatry in Italy where I also obtained a Master’s degree in Gender Studies and Politics. I then moved to London. Working as an Italian psychiatrist in such a multicultural place as London, communicating at my best in a language that is not my mother tongue and facing a different healthcare system, have been challenging. However, these experiences have made me reflect on how personal and social circumstances are determinants in influencing an individuals’ identity, and therefore mental health, a reflection that I've brought into my clinical work. 

I have been lucky to join WMHSIG which has allowed me to put into practice my interest in investigating the impact of sex and gender on mental health.

I am so proud of being part of the 25 Women in Psychiatry project and celebrating 25 years anniversary of WMHSIG. We need to share inspiring people's stories because this is what our lives are made of: people, stories, experiences, meetings.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry