Advisory Board

Meet our dedicated and wise group who currently sit on our Advisory Board. They meet with our Executive team four times a year to discuss strategy, connections and plans for world domination!

Nicola Hodkinson

Nicola is 4th generation owner and director in her family construction business, where her role is all about people and culture. She places great value on employee wellbeing, naming this as the number one driver for a thriving culture and to this end she is a Trustee on the board for a leading UK mental health charity Mates in Mind.

Nicola moved into higher education as a mature student, taking her 2 young children to university lectures, “it was great fun, hard, but equally rewarding, and I loved rubbing shoulders with the youngsters, as I was regarded as a geriatric student at 30, which was hilarious. I proved to myself if there is a will there is a way…” After graduating she entered the family business, purely by accident and never looked back working from the ground up, moving around the business as her skill-set grew.

Nicola was the first female to be appointed to the Seddon board in an industry still dominated by males. “I have always been surrounded by men, with a father, 2 brothers, husband and 2 sons, and I work in a male environment too, but our sector is changing and being part of Girls Out Loud is very fulfilling. In my working life I have wanted very much to retain my femininity, that is what makes me, me… but it can be challenged in this industry and I want to be able to help young women navigate this world through development and opportunity”.

Helen Boothby
Helen Boothby

Helen has over 30 years of commercial experience, having led and managed many sales organisations in the U.K. and Overseas.

Her passion for spotting, coaching and nurturing talent has helped Helen build high performing teams in many successful businesses.

In the last few years Helen set up the training division For Pareto Law and the business unit went from a scratch start to £5 million annual turnover.

Helen has recently set up her own consulting business and helps clients build and execute commercial strategy, leadership and commercial capability.

Helen came across GOL several years ago and jumped at the chance to be a BIG SISTER. Her motivation for doing this relates to her difficult school years including bullying. She felt passionate about the opportunity to make a difference to a young girl so she stepped up and became a Big Sister mentor.

Helen’s determination in overcoming low self-belief and go on to enjoy a successful career and personal life, is testimony that anything is possible with a positive outlook, self development and the determination to push through her own boundaries. 

Helen has a passion for travel, her family and dogs . She is actively involved in a local organisation helping rescue dogs find their forever homes .

Kate Dodd
Kate Dodd

Kate is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant for Pinsent Masons LLP.  She advises these businesses, and their clients, across the full range of wellbeing, culture and inclusion topics.

Kate’s passion is for creating great workplaces that allow talent to thrive.  She has a flair for culture change and helping leaders to learn how to start conversations around complex workplace issues.

Kate is passionate about supporting businesses to attract and retain the best talent, and to cultivate the skills needed to serve their clients and communities.  Known for managing complex issues with sensitivity and discretion, Kate is described as “very knowledgeable with a great understanding of clients’ businesses”.  

An employment lawyer by background Kate is an experienced advocate, she represented her clients in Employment Tribunals across England, Scotland and Wales across a full range of sensitive discrimination and equality issues. 

Kate first became aware of the work of GOL back in 2008 and followed our work for more than 10 years before signing up to be a Big Sister herself!  The delay in engaging was down to time commitments but since she has stepped up, she has been pleasantly surprised by how manageable the role is.

Kate was inspired to get involved by her own experiences of raising girls.  She says: “I have seen first-hand how difficult it is for girls to grow up in Britain today, with the complexity of the online world throwing up challenges that we never even dreamt of as teens.  I also see the advantages that my own children get from having role models in their lives, with women willing to listen to them and fight their corner.  The work of GOL is more relevant today than ever before, and it is essential that those of us who can step forward and mentor young women who might otherwise be lost within the system, do so now.”

Gary Palmer

Gary Palmer is the Managing Director of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s North West division. He oversees in excess of 700 employees and is responsible for more than 100 branch locations in the region.

He began his Enterprise career in May 1989 in Los Angeles, California. Like the vast majority of Enterprise personnel, Gary entered the business through its renowned Management Training Programme, where he learned the business from the ground up.

After gaining experience and a series of promotions in the US, Gary moved to Birmingham in 1995 to develop the fledgling business in the UK. He was responsible for setting up Enterprise’s Wales and South West operations before moving to the North West in 1999.

He is passionate about promoting diversity throughout Enterprise and providing a workplace that is welcoming and supportive of all regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or belief. Gary is a member if Enterprise’s Global Diversity Team and is very much involved with the region’s BAME and Female Focus groups.

Gary personally mentors five female employees on a 24-month, rolling programme to increase their confidence and help them engage more effectively with senior management. He has led a number of initiatives to increase the number of females in leadership roles, including making sure, where possible, that every open management position has a top performing female in the pool of applicants.

He encourages his team to engage in Enterprise and non-Enterprise-led projects that benefit the communities in which the company operates. Gary is incredibly proud that Enterprise was named as the Girls Out Loud Corporate Brand Ambassador of the Year 2017 and that six of his female employees are mentors on the Girls Out Loud Big Sister Programme.

Gary has two daughters who are both interested in the world of commerce, which he says explains his interest in helping female talent progress in the workplace.
His motto is ‘hard work, works’

Ellie Doohan

After a corporate career at the highest levels, Ellie recently struck out to fulfil her dream of running her own portfolio business– Ellie Doohan & Associates.  Through Ellie Doohan & Associates, she provides Executive and Leadership Coaching and interim senior legal support.

The foundation of Ellie’s business comes from her 17-year career at Asda and Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer.  Ellie was on the Executive board of Asda for many years and then more recently was responsible for launching a global compliance and ethics programme across Wal-Mart’s operations in Europe, Africa and Canada.  With a team of over 250 people across 3 continents, as you would expect, Ellie has got great leadership and coaching skills and understands cultural nuance well.  She has worked with many of the retail legends and has superb business as well as legal acumen.

Passionate about development, Ellie also helped build Asda’s reputation as a people-led business with a strong coaching culture.  She was voted an Everywoman Retail Ambassador,  was one of the founder members of Asda’s diversity steering group and was instrumental in starting the relationship between Girls Out Loud and Asda.

Ellie grew up in Stockport and went to Harrytown High School and Aquinas College. Although she now lives in central London. We will be tapping into Ellie’s connections to help us develop our corporate relationships and enable us to bring Girls Out Loud to even more schools.

We are delighted to have Ellie’s support.

Rebecca Durrant

Rebecca is passionate about female empowerment and gender diversity and believes that those in privileged positions have a responsibility to make a difference. As a child, she attended an all girls grammar school on an assisted place for a good education, which left her feeling like the poor kid in the corner on free dinners. This did however give her a sense of aspiration; she knew what she didn’t want and exactly what she did!

From here, Rebecca felt university wasn’t for her and started her career as a tax junior in Bury on £60 per week. She has since worked her way to Tax Partner at Crowe U.K LLP. As a qualified Chartered Tax Adviser, Rebecca speaks regularly at in-house seminars and contributes to the firms’ briefings and publications.

Her motto is ‘don’t wait to be asked – drive your own career and create your own opportunities’. She believes that self belief is everything and sometimes we all need a little help to recognise how good we actually are, which is one of her reasons for becoming an Ambassador and Big Sister for Girls Out Loud. She is keen to help girls that have not had the same advantages in life as others, and help them discover the opportunities out there.

Rebecca has been married for 21 years and takes each day as it comes – we are delighted to welcome her on board!

Sue Hamilton

Sue  has spent the past 36 years working in social care with families, women and children in a variety of settings including criminal justice, child protection and residential therapeutic care.

Alongside her role at Girls Out Loud she maintains involvement in a charity in Nepal for women and children, in particular she is sponsoring a women in to work programme in Nepal, is on the board of a regional charity supporting vulnerable women and also runs a  private therapeutic practice in Bolton.

Sue’s knowledge of working with vulnerable teenage girls is invaluable to Girls Out Loud.  Her advice, training and support around our Child Protection strategy, Big Sister training and future growth is essential.

Could you add value to the Girls Out Loud Advisory Board?

We currently have vacancies on our Board for women of influence in politics, internet entrepreneurship and corporate fund raising. If you would like to help us grow Girls Out Loud to become the number one organisation inspiring teenage girls to greatness in the UK, please get in touch with our Founder Jane Kenyon today for an initial chat.

How you can support our mission

Become a Corporate Sponsor
Sign up to be a Big Sister or Volunteer
You can make a one-off donation or set up a subscription
Fundraise for our Girls Out Loud Foundation
Purchase one of our tees or bags via our shop and partners