“Find your passion”: Royal Surrey Chief Executive shares her thoughts as part of International Women’s Day
A nurse and hospital leader has encouraged young women to find work in an area they are passionate about, as part of International Women’s Day.
Louise Stead, Chief Executive in Royal Surrey County Hospital, told how she was inspired to get to where she is today by a ward sister she met during her training.
Mrs Stead, who took over leadership of the Trust last year, is one of six women on the Board of the hospital in Guildford, Surrey.
She shared her views along with a number of other colleagues as part of International Women’s Day.
“We all spend so much time at work and I think that it is really important that you find something that you’re passionate about, believe in and where you think you can make a difference,” said Mrs Stead.
“Very early in my nurse training I worked under an inspiring ward sister who taught me the absolute importance of good compassionate care and putting patients first.
“I have taken what she taught me, including the importance of work being fun, with me as I have progressed through my career.
“The truly great thing about the health service is the variety of jobs available, you can have 40 different careers in one lifetime.”
Chief Nurse, Jo Mountjoy, told how she is inspired by Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth, who has led her country and her family through turbulent times.
“I believe she is calm, collected, strong, committed and has pride and purpose to serve her country.
“Over the years she has embraced change, learnt and listened, shown innovation and adaptability.”
Lucy Clements the Trust’s Associate Director of Operations for Women and Children, said her mother was her inspiration after being widowed at 42 years and successfully bringing up three children under 10 years while working.
“She really is the embodiment of a strong women and someone who is incredibly inspirational.”
Chief Executive, Mrs Stead, qualified as a nurse in 1988 and prior to joining Royal Surrey she had a varied career in a number of London teaching hospitals.
She is an experienced nurse in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, hepatobiliary and pancreatic medicine and surgery.
She has played a pivotal role in the Trust since joining the Board as Director of Nursing and Patient Experience in 2011.
Mrs Stead said that she has also been inspired by Marie Curie, the physicist and chemist who pioneered the study of radiation.
“She was refused a place at university because she was a woman and went on to attend lectures dressed as a man until she was discovered,” said Mrs Stead.
“Along with the help of her husband she went on to make groundbreaking discoveries about radioactivity and discover two new chemical elements – polonium and radium.
“Their work was used to develop radiotherapy which is used widely today to treat certain illnesses and cancer. These discoveries were also important in developing x-rays, which are vital to hospitals today.
“She is the only woman still to have one the noble prize twice, once for her work in chemistry and once for physics.
“Here at Royal Surrey I am thankful to be working with so many dedicated and inspiring women and I would like to thank each of them for the amazing care they deliver every day.”