International Women's Day

Following the introduction of the new College values, we last year celebrated Pride and Black History Month for the first time – and, in March, we will be marking International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day, which takes place on Sunday 8 March, will be an important event for us, as an organisation, because women play a central role with the College.

Forty five per cent of our members are female, as are 75% of our staff.

Our current President is Wendy Burn. And three earlier Presidents of the RCPsych were Dr Fiona Caldicott (1993-1996), Professor Sheila Hollins (2005-2008) and Dame Sue Bailey (2011 to 2014).

Our CEO for 33 years, until 2016, was Vanessa Cameron.

Before any of these prominent women came to the fore, the earliest female President of one of our predecessor organisations, the Royal Medico-Psychological Association, was Dr Helen Boyle, who became its President in 1939.

Dr Boyle was a remarkable woman, who thrived at a time of widespread misogyny, when women were discouraged from going into medicine and were frequently discriminated against.

Dr Boyle set up the first female-led GP practice in Brighton, in 1897; helped set up the Medical Women’s Federation, in 1917; helped set up the International Women’s Federation, in 1922; and co-founded MIND, paying the rent for its offices, during its first three years.

For the whole of March, we will be showcasing our new International Women’s Day banner – which features the female winners at the 2019 RCPsych Awards, including:

  • Haridha Pandian – Medical Student of the Year 2019
  • Dr Lesley Thoms – Core Psychiatric Trainee of the Year 2019 
  • Dr Golnar Aref-Adib – Higher Psychiatric Trainee of the Year 2019
  • Vanessa Lee – Carer Contributor of the Year 2019
  • Dr Elizabeth Dawson – Specialty Doctor/Associate Specialist of the Year 2019
  • Dr Shubulade Smith CBE – Psychiatrist of the Year 2019.

We will also post a blog from the Women in Mental Health Special Interest Group co-chairs Dr Beena Rajkumar and Dr Ruth Reed; and from Dr Claire Hilton, the College’s Historian in Residence.

Our social media logos will also be changed to align with International Women's Day, and we're creating a brand-new poster display to celebrate Dr Boyle and Dame Fiona Caldicott outside the auditorium, at our main office, in central London.

On 12 March, we will also host a special Choose Psychiatry event for school-age girls who are interested in a career in mental health, with inspirational talks from leading female psychiatrists.

Many women have played such an important role in providing great patient care, and in helping deliver services on behalf of the College. Next month will be a time when we celebrate their important work.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry