This site uses cookies to bring you the best experience. Find out more
Skip to main content

CBS Celebrates International Women's Day 2020


As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we are greatly inspired by the UN’s Generation Equality campaign, which will celebrate Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future ( Additionally, the UN’s campaign will focus on the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 – which is to be celebrated on an ongoing basis until September 2020.

The Confederation of British Surgery felt that while it is essential to celebrate the contributions and breakthroughs of women surgeons year-round, the theme of #IWD2020 would also provide a good opportunity to discuss some of the challenges faced by women training toward, as well as already established in, surgical careers.

In our first blog of the new year, Surgeons Meet the New Decade with 20/20 Vision (, we discussed the shifts in consciousness among the British public, which we believe have encouraged many in the Surgical community to speak out passionately and frequently on the issues that matter to them. We noted the inspirational response to the #ILookLikeASurgeon campaign co-founded by Heather Logghe, MD and Dr Kathryn Hughes - which has been used tens of thousands of times and received millions of social media impressions - was a powerful demonstration of how adept Surgeons have already become at carving out the evolving digital landscape in order to promote and discuss the issues that affect them, as well as Surgical colleagues across the globe.

Through the CBS social media accounts (@UKSurgeons on Twitter and Instagram; The Confederation of British Surgery on LinkedIn), we have been thrilled with the way the organisation has been able to connect and exchange ideas with surgeons and future surgeons in ways that have enhanced our understanding of issues, and allowed us to listen to the experiences of those directly affected - which has in turn meant we can lend our support and spread the message to our networks, which has proved valuable to help promote change.

Recently, CBS has partnered with the University College London chapter of Women in Surgery to discuss how we might aid in the collection of data that aims to analyse the challenges faced by women surgeons at every level of the training pathway, as well as those already more established in their surgical careers. CBS’ aim is to help promote the study to a Consultant level, to do our part in helping researchers obtain the most robust data with which to effect positive change.

CBS member Miss Leena Chagla, a Consultant Surgeon and Lead Clinician in Breast services reflects on some of the changes she’s seen since beginning her career, and the women surgeons who inspired her, and others toward achieving excellence in surgery. She says; 

“We have come a long way with regards to women in surgery. When I was a registrar in the early 1990s, I was the only female registrar in the region.

We however had some excellent role models in Liverpool like Professor A Mansel and Mrs Linda de Cossart who really encouraged and reached out to young female trainees and helped them along the way. Now we have a lot more women in surgery but there is still a lot to be done to ensure gender equality and to limit ‘stereotyping.’

I am delighted that CBS a young vibrant confederation has women in Surgery on their agenda.”

Peer-to-peer initiatives have changed the way surgeons relate, better understand, and support one another, which CBS sees as an opportunity to demonstrate allyship with gender equality initiatives.

According to the inaugural President of the Confederation of British Surgery, Mr John MacFie;

“The contributions of women surgeons are immense and vital to furthering advancements in surgery. Whilst we have observed that many women Surgeons have noted improvements, there are still many discussions to be had, and much work yet to be done. 

The majority of medical graduates are female and women are therefore the future of surgery. That is the reality and it must become the fact.

CBS look forward to demonstrating our ongoing commitment as allies - listening, learning and taking actions to improve and support the experience of women in surgery at every level of the training pathway.”



Read other news articles