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RCOG welcomes Vanessa Kingori MBE onto Race Equality Taskforce

News 18 January 2021

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is extremely pleased to announce British Vogue Publishing Director, Vanessa Kingori MBE, will be joining as a member of the College’s Race Equality Taskforce.

The appointment comes at a crucial time as the UK grapples with the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest data shows that half of all pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of Covid-19 in the first wave were from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds[1] – with the overall impression in the second wave being that nothing has changed with the inequalities in outcomes.

The Race Equality Taskforce was set up in July 2020 to fully address and provide tangible solutions to racial inequalities in women’s healthcare and the experiences of racism within the UK obstetric and gynaecology workforce. The aims of the taskforce include collaborating with government to improve healthcare experiences and outcomes for all ethnic minority women and young girls.

Working as Publishing Director at British Vogue since 2017, Vanessa Kingori is the first female publisher of British Vogue and British GQ prior to this. She is also Conde Nast Britain’s first and only Publisher of colour in the company’s 105-year history. She has regularly been listed as one of the 'UK's Most Influential Black Britons' by the Powerlist magazine and recently topped Campaign’s top 10 trailblazers of 2020. Vanessa Kingori has been instrumental in using her various platforms to raise awareness on issues of inequality, race and women’s health. Vanessa will join the taskforce membership, playing an integral role in shaping the future of care for ethnic minority women and young girls in the UK.

Dr Christine Ekechi, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and Co-Chair of the Race Equality Taskforce, said: “We’re delighted and privileged to have Vanessa Kingori as part of the RCOG’s Race Equality Taskforce. 

“Vanessa will bring a very unique set of skills to the taskforce – having been instrumental in ensuring diversity and inclusion are prioritised on the powerful media platforms such as British Vogue. Vanessa’s personal interest in racial inequality and women’s experiences of health, pregnancy and the healthcare system, has been vital in raising awareness with the public and ensuring the vital conversation continues. We look forward to drawing on her experience as we move into 2021 and working collaboratively to ensure the ambitious goals of the Race Equality Taskforce are met.”

Vanessa Kingori MBE said: “As the daughter of a midwife of over 40 years, I grew up immersed in women’s health narratives. This coupled with my own health care experiences and those of women dear to me motivate my desire to help influence change. I’m excited to join this taskforce and to shed light on the issues so all women might have equally excellent care.”

Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome Vanessa onto the Race Equality Taskforce. We believe all women, irrespective of location, age, or ethnicity, should be able to access the same high-quality care. We still have a long way to go to making sure health disparities no longer exist, but we are committed as a College to making this happen.”

ENDS 

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)20 7772 6444/ (0)7986 183167 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk

[1] The incidence, characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women hospitalized with symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in the UK from March to September 2020: a national cohort study using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) (2020)

About the RCOG

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.

About the Race Equality Taskforce

The Race Equality Taskforce exists to:

  • Ensure the work of the RCOG is fully reflective of its stance on racial equality
  • Understand and address how racism affects Fellows, Members and Trainees of the RCOG
  • Improve awareness and training to combat racism within the health service
  • Improve undergraduate and postgraduate education in identifying and reducing racism and unconscious bias in the workforce
  • Tackle the contributing factors which have led to poorer patient outcomes for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic women
  • Consider the role that medical research can play in addressing disparities in outcomes for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic women.