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Women in Surgery: Mission and Goals

Women make excellent surgeons and there are many highly successful female surgeons in the world today.

In this section, you will find information on the history and work of Women in Surgery as an organisation and practical guidance on issues that often affect women in the workplace.

You can also join the Women in Surgery Directory, which is a free network that will allow you to make contact with a range of other female surgeons, from medical student upwards.

Women in Surgery's mission and goals

Women in Surgery’s mission is to encourage, enable and inspire women to fulfill their surgical ambitions. Our aims are:

  • to raise the profile of women in surgery
  • to work towards an understanding of the issues facing women in surgery
  • to encourage attitudinal change ensuring women are seen as an integral part of the profession
  • to provide advice, guidance and pastoral support for those women already in surgery or considering entering it
  • to support the Women in Surgery network

To achieve these goals, we work with a number of related organisations and bodies to highlight the issues affecting women in surgery and to facilitate change in attitudes and practices to ensure that all of the best candidates can succeed in surgery. In addition to this, we work to ensure female surgeons are represented positively in the media and to as wide an audience as possible.

We also maintain a network of members providing a range of benefits, including information and advice on all topics affecting women in surgery or considering a surgical career.

Through events such as our national conferences and workshops, we support women in - or considering entering - surgery, starting with workshops for school-age aspiring surgeons. These events provide women at all levels with knowledge, practical skills and the opportunity to meet other women pursuing a surgical career.


Research into factors affecting women’s career choices is vital for us to understand where we should be directing our efforts to support women in surgery. Read about our various research projects.

The history of Women in Surgery  

WinS was formed in 2007 to take over from Women in Surgical Training (WIST). As both WIST and WinS, we have worked to understand all issues affecting women, their careers and factors influencing their success.

We have built up strong relationships with government and other related organisations. We use these to try to ensure that issues affecting women in surgery are always considered in policy decisions. For example, we have been actively involved in the Women in Medicine group that was set up following the Chief Medical Officer’s 2006 annual report.

In 2000 WIST initiated a series of workshops for school students. These aimed to introduce the idea of a career in surgery to girls early in their careers. The College now runs many more of these events, and we have broadened our target audience to include boys as well as girls. 

Women in Surgery on social media

In addition to the Women in Surgery network, you can also stay in touch with us through our Facebook page.  You might also be interested in forums such as, but please note that these are not formally affiliated to the College and we cannot vouch for their content.

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