Call for vets to join focus group as XLVets looks to improve the outlook for women in leadership | Companion Consultancy

Call for vets to join focus group as XLVets looks to improve the outlook for women in leadership

Kerrie Hedley, Chief Operating Officer at XLVKerrie Hedley, Chief Operating Officer at XLVets sets up women in leadership focus groupets, is asking female vets to share their opinions and experiences around leadership as part of a study which will form her MBA dissertation. The aim is to use her findings to develop some new strategies around succession and encouraging women in the profession into leadership positions. Kerrie urgently needs veterinary women to take part in focus groups to start building her body of evidence. Anyone wishing to take part should email Kerrie at

The research topic was triggered by an analysis of leadership statistics in the veterinary profession. Kerrie says, “There is a dearth of information about the number of leadership roles occupied by women in the veterinary profession. We knew that in the XLVets community, our joint efforts to run leadership programmes and help aspiring owners have meant that one in five of our practice owners are women but we don’t know how that compares with other veterinary sectors and business models. We’d like to see many, many more women in strategic positions within our community and in the wider profession. This research will look at the barriers to leadership that women might experience and will help us develop enabling and support strategies.”

Within the XLVets community Kerrie feels there is some interesting data, “When we look at the numbers, our entry level leadership programmes are almost completely female in terms of uptake and our recent aspiring owner meeting had an equal male-female split, which was great to see. So, our feeling is that we are starting to see the impact of more female graduates coming through. Whether that’s happening as quickly as it should do throughout the profession is another matter and we hope the research will throw some light on this.”

Female veterinary surgeons both within and outside the XLVet community, in leadership positions, aspiring to leadership, or leadership-averse and from any sphere of veterinary practice are invited to contact Kerrie to take part and contribute. The current timeline suggests that findings will be shared with the profession towards the end of the year.