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Becoming World Class - Inaugrual Leicester Women in Medicine (LWIM) Meeting, Leicester Diabetes Centre 

(13th October 2014)

Olympic Rowers and LIWIM logo

On Oct 3rd we held the inaugural meeting of Leicester Women in Medicine (LWIM) at LDC, LGH. Established in 2014, LWIM is a network which aims to support and inspire individuals by developing a positive and active community which provides a forum through which individuals can learn through the experience of others and foster a change in culture.

Leicester Women in Medicine (LWIM) hopes to motivate and support women in medicine at all levels of career to achieve their personal goals and realise their talent through peer support and mentoring.


How to become world class 

The meeting was titled “Becoming World Class” and our keynote speaker and facilitator was Sarah Winckless, ex-olympic rower. Over forty delegates attended the meeting and came from a variety of backgrounds including medical students, doctors in training, academic university staff, consultants, NHS managers and members of the executive team. Sarah gave a highly inspirational talk describing her journey through her sporting career and also more personal aspects of her life. Her presentation was fascinating and engaging with many motivational aspects which were easily transferable to our careers within medicine. 

Key messages

Some of the key messages that I felt really resonated were:

  • a concept of “getting close” to world class performers in order to learn from them – we should be looking for opportunities for individuals to “get close” to our leaders

  • “looking for the light in people” – identifying individuals strengths and helping them to develop them further – it is important for leaders to act as “sponsors” to individuals

  • the importance of having a “blueprint” for success and sharing this with team

  • “look in your wing mirrors” – the concept that as we move forward (sometimes at pace) we should be mindful of the team around us and how they are feeling

  • in order to aspire to be “world class” we should continue to develop our strengths as well as addressing our weaknesses

  • in order to achieve maximum output from a team we need to allow “down-time” or recovery time at intervals. This will prevent “burnout” and fall in output due to fatigue.


The meeting was very interactive and there was a buzz of energy in the room. During the final 30mins Sarah facilitated a panel discussion with 4 female leaders within UHL and Leicester Medical School (Kate Shields, Prof Melanie Davies, Dr Ffion Davies and Dr Sophie Parkinson). This session gave a valuable insight into how these individuals tackled the challenges of their roles. This opportunity to share stories and experiences felt like a really valuable learning experience.

Some feedback


" Inspirational, fun interactive sessions" 
" Didn't know what to expect but was definitely glad I was here"
"Started thinking how does this link with me & I got it... I will take away a lot"
" Really good to hear other peoples Experiences"
"Excellent Meeting! Thank you" "Really Enjoyed this"
" Great to have the audience to be involved and allowed to share their views and opinion"


LWIM aims to hold an annual free themed session with inspirational speakers and a networking session. Network events are open to medical students, junior doctors, consultants from all specialities, University posts, GPs and NHS managers. Events are open to both male and female colleagues.

Leicester Women in Medicine has been developed in close alliance with Sheffield Women in Medicine which was founded in 2013. LWIM was founded by Dr Kath Higgins in recognition of the need for a network inclusive to all which nurtures an ethos of inspiring and supporting the female workforce.



  • Dr Kath Higgins

  • Dr Helena Gleeson

  • Dr Frances Bulock

  • Dr Ffion Davies

  • Miss Kirsten Boyle

  • Dr Nicola Hartley

  • Miss Lucy Cutler


Details of further meetings will follow.


Follow LWIM on twitter : @lwim101                          
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