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Bringing women of colour with digital skills into improvement activity

Digital improvement works better when digital experts and improvement practitioners join forces and share expertise. We will create a ‘talking library’ to access these people and pay forward their stories.

Read comments 3
  • Winning idea
  • 2022

Meet the team


  • Tracey Thomas, Shera Chok, Sam Ouanounou, Razanne Abdalla

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

Digital healthcare projects often suffer from limited project management approaches to improvement, resulting in unforeseen costs and solutions that don’t fully address the problem. Equally, many improvement ideas have relevance in digital programmes or would greatly benefit from digital expertise, which are often expensive to access. Both fields offer huge potential for collaboration, and the development of a new pipeline of digitally-savvy improvement practitioners.

Hexitime has been working with both communities independently for a year, and would like to make a joint bid on this project with the Shuri Network to realise the potential of a collaboration with Q members. The Shuri Network digital shadowing programme has delivered successful outcomes supporting women of colour across digital health and social care leadership. More positive action is required to support access for women of colour at all levels of the digital talent pipeline.

What does your project aim to achieve?

We will create and evaluate a ‘talking’ library, offering a 1-hour skill exchange for foundation and entry level careers, to those wishing to diversify their existing portfolio and develop specific expertise.  It will recruit and profile the digital skills and expertise of women of colour for members of the Q community to access to help with their improvement projects. The 1-hour exchange will offer opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and sharing lived experiences. Q members will be supported to request specific digital skills they need for their improvement projects for Shuri Network members to respond to.

This will deliver two key benefits for both communities:

1.     Access for Q members to quality digital expertise for improvement activity

2.     Supporting women of colour in digital health to professionally develop by sharing their talents in real-world improvement work.

How will the project be delivered?

The ‘talking library’ will be delivered through the Hexitime digital platform. It requires a specific software development to host the library, costed into this bid. Once live, the platform will host the library permanently beyond the 12-month activity. The library will be a specialist subset of Hexitime offering the skills and expertise of women of colour. We propose categorising these capabilities into areas such as ‘leadership’, ‘digital health’ and ‘improvement’ to start with, but will iterate as it develops. Women of colour will be recruited from the extensive Network nationally. Their skillsets will then be made available to Q members to access. When connections are made, outputs will be logged and shared using the new software development.

The project will be evaluated to explore the extent to which combined working between these communities improves the career prospects for women of colour, and adds value to improvement projects needing digital expertise.

How is your project going to share learning?

Our evaluation with better understand what happens when women of colour with digital expertise are included in improvement activity. It will explore how the collaboration reduces the inequalities women of colour face in their career development, and how in the process improvement projects can be richer for it. The work will be shared widely through the extensive Shuri Network, including with their associates at Google, IBM and wider industry, and culminate in a publication led by one of their members to share in a journal. The work will also be more widely shared through the Hexitime networks/social media/conferences.

How you can contribute

  • The expert - Could you provide skills to the innovators on the accelerator? Consider offering them on and what you will do with the time credits you earn from sharing.
  • The Critical Friend - challenge always welcome!
  • The Promoter - A community accelerator will be more powerful with the more people who contribute. So we will need people with good ideas, and people with useful skills for helping them to join the project.

Plan timeline

15 Nov 2022 Product Discovery incl. engaging members
15 Dec 2022 Prototype and Testing Phase
31 Jan 2023 Launch with restricted users, capture learning, iterate
1 Feb 2023 Go Live, maintenance, review, measure, capture learning
15 Jun 2023 Share learning


  1. A great idea founded on an asset-based approach which recognises the benefit of diversity for improving services.

  2. Great idea - good luck!

  3. Hi John and Myra

    Great idea. I appreciate it has a different focus, but this Q Exchange project from 2020 had a similar focus on professional development for people early in their careers. There may be useful learning you could draw from their work that could strengthen your idea?

    Best of luck!


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