How would you feel to be labelled a role model? Would you revel in the responsibility? Or would its weight of worth feel heavy upon your shoulders?
For BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner graduate Zaidia Hussain, it’s something she’s been learning to live with. As a young British Asian woman working as a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service, she’s found herself at a cultural frontier.
From family expectation and occasional public prejudice to championing diversity among her peers, her career, just five years in the making, has already demanded more courage and determination than many require in a lifetime.
If someone asks you to picture a doctor, it’s likely you’ll picture a man. If someone asks you to picture a nurse, it’s more likely you’ll picture a woman.
This unconscious bias is on the way to being addressed on the medical front as female medical student numbers have escalated in recent years – with women now accounting for over half of medical professionals at a training grade. Yet the amount of men training to become nurses has plateaued for decades at between 8–11%.