A midwife championing equality in maternity services recognised with RCM Fellowship

on 24 March 2022 Maternity Services Midwives RCM RCM Member Midwifery Equality and Diversity RCM Fellowship RCM Honorary Fellowship RCM CEO

A national maternity lead for equality at NHS England and NHS Improvement has been awarded an RCM Fellowship. Wendy Yewande Olayiwola OBE, who was listed in the 2020 WHO/UN global list of 100 outstanding women as a midwife leader, is also a Professional Midwifery Advocate and she has been promoting and advocating for equalities among black and minority ethnic groups for many years. She was also awarded the British Empire Medal in 2021 for her service to the NHS and championing equality during COVID-19.

Registered as both a nurse and midwife, Wendy has over two decades of broad midwifery and public health experience. Working in a range of settings, including the community, she has been supporting and empowering midwives to provide culturally sensitive and holistic care for women and their families for many years.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, Gill Walton said:

“I’m delighted to present Wendy with her very well deserved RCM Fellowship. Her work nationally as the maternity lead for equality at NHS England/NHS Improvement has never been more important. Her appointment as an RCM Fellow will continue to support the RCM’s work in this area, in turn improving experiences for our Black, Asian and minority ethnic members. Wendy is a natural leader and her passion for inspiring and empowering midwives to improve the care they are delivering is really key to improving outcomes for women from a range of culturally diverse backgrounds.”

Wendy is a member of Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) Council Equality Diversity and Inclusion Research Advisory Group and Midwifery Panel, and the lead midwife/co-chair of Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Midwifery Officer Black and Minority Ethnic Strategic Advisory Group for NHS England.  She has also co-authored articles in professional midwifery journals, including Talking to men about FGM and Reducing the incidence of Stillbirths in Black women.


Commenting on receiving her RCM Fellowship, Wendy Yewande Olayiwola said;

“It is a delight and heart-warming moment to be recognised by one's own professional body. This is a combination of years of dedication, commitments, hard work and devotion to the profession l love and continue to serve. To work in conjunction with others to ensure that women, babies have good experience of care, as well as those working in maternity services has been a real pleasure.

“I look forward to many years of working with colleagues to make maternity services in England safer for all, most especially Black, Asian, mixed ethnicity women and those living in the most deprived areas.”



To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]. 


Notes to Editors: 

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team.  We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team