Women of the HSMA: Sophie Auld

Q&A - 8TH MARCH 2022

Sophie Auld of The London Clinic on female role models, valuable advice and the main challenges facing women in healthcare today

To mark International Women’s Day 2022, we are celebrating the women of the HSMA. Each day we will be publishing a Q&A with one of the remarkable women who make up our vibrant community of healthcare specialists. Meet Sophie Auld, director of clinical services at The London Clinic.

Tell us about your role at the hospital.
My role involves working with the clinical support services, such as pharmacy, imaging, therapies, outpatients and pathology, to deliver high-quality care and efficient services for our patients and consultants. I am also a member of the executive board, and together we’re responsible for setting the strategy and direction of the hospital. During the pandemic, I joined the COVID response team, and we were focused on protecting our patients and staff throughout this time. I am also the registered manager for The London Clinic, which is an important regulatory role, with responsibility for keeping our practices safe and ensuring we have strong governance processes across the hospital.

Who are the women who have inspired you the most?
I’m a radiographer by background and, over the 20 years that I’ve been working in healthcare, I’ve worked with some really inspiring women. When I first trained, radiologists were predominantly male, but there are now many more women who are leading in the profession and I’m inspired by their knowledge, passion and what they do for patients every day. I suspect some may have had to work much harder to succeed in their roles and gain respect from their colleagues, compared to their male co-workers.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to follow a career in healthcare?
Women bring a complimentary dynamic to healthcare and have a natural tendency to be understanding to their patients’ needs and compassionate in their approach. A good manager will recognise and encourage these qualities.

As a woman, what are the biggest challenges you have faced along the way?
It is harder sometimes to be a woman in senior leadership. It’s fantastic to see so many more women in senior roles – particularly in STEM industries – but there’s still more work to be done to address imbalances that remain at very senior levels. That’s why it’s important for women in leadership to advocate for each other and pull each other up.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BreakTheBias. What does this mean to you? 
I think everyone has unconscious bias, and breaking down this bias starts with self-awareness. As Sheryl Sandberg says: “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”