Today (Friday 8 March) is International Women’s Day (IWD), and so we would like to shine a light on women within the EHSCP and their achievements. The theme for this year’s IWD is Inspiring Inclusion. We want to inspire people to see the importance of including women, join us as we empower women within the Partnership. You can find out more about IWD and inspiring inclusion on the international women’s day website.

We spoke to Gill Schofield, EHSCP Home Care and Reablement HR Project Manager. Gill told us about her career so far and what it means to her to inspire inclusion.

Tell us about your career so far?

I’ve been very fortunate to have multiple successful careers. From advertising, sales and marketing, to Human Resource Management. By far the most rewarding time has been spent in Human Resources. I’m CIPD level 7 qualified and have worked as a contractor and in tech start-ups, not for profit, manufacturing, and more. My current role is my first assignment in a public sector business.

My role at the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership is to provide HR coaching and advice on sickness absence management to our managers in Home Care & Reablement service. Coaching includes helping managers to navigate difficult conversations with employees and helping them to achieve the best outcome in terms of wellbeing and health. We take each sickness absence case on it’s own merits to support our colleagues and bring them back to work fully fit as quickly as possible.

Our Menopause Café Roadshows ran last year from October to December in all our localities and that allowed me to meet frontline employees struggling with many differing symptoms. When we share knowledge and coping strategies, it’s easier to manage work/life expectations and achieve balance.

Additionally, I look after our recruitment function, again on behalf of our Home Care & Reablement Service. Our recruitment strategy is currently in review so it’s a busy time for all involved; communication is key in my role, and I have regular catchups with all stakeholders, visiting all locality offices in person.

What do you do in your personal time?

Free time involves travel, cinema, eating out and walking our little rescue dog Archie. I am a mentor for MCR Pathways and I’m currently mentoring a high school student, helping them to navigate and prepare for the wonderful world of work.

MCR Pathways is a national, award-winning mentoring programme where the vision is for all young people to experience equality of education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances. The school-based mentoring programme supports young people to find, grow and use their talents, helping them to build confidence, broaden aspirations and explore their future pathways.

The organisation recruits volunteers to provide young people with a mentor. Not every young person has a trusted adult around them to turn to, but an hour a week is all it takes to make significant impact. When with my mentee, we talk about music, cinema and play board games. In the approach to prelims, we’ve discussed exam technique, the importance of a good sleep regime and relaxation strategies.

How do you inspire inclusion?

Throughout my career, I have always tried to champion under-represented groups in the workplace; specifically, promoting job opportunities for single parents, women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM based roles. I’ve found there is a common behaviour at the core of all the best employers and that is to have diversity and inclusion front and centre of their recruitment strategy.