Initially working in TV in Madrid, producing content for the lifestyle channel Canal Estilo and then onto National Geographic Channel, Jo realized how she loved to find the real deal when traveling and it was four years later that she set up her first company, Insider’s Madrid to help her clients do the same.
Today, Jo is lucky to work with a fantastic team of five, divided between Spain and the UK providing tailored travel and small group tours all over Europe.
When Jo moved to Manchester in 2018 to relocate her company (and herself!) after 20 years of living in Madrid , she was also looking for a path to mentorship and found the Big Sister programme was just the right fit.
What better way to learn from and better connect with teenage girls today, their thoughts and concerns while passing on her own learnings and experience.
From her own experience as a teenager and young woman, Jo understands how confidence and self-belief are pivotal in creating a big life and finds it a privilege to be able to have the chance to help empower someone else’s.
Jo loves connecting people – whether it’s helping her clients hang out with a Sicilian wine-maker or learn some steps with a Spanish flamenco dancer, she truly believes in the power of what we can share with each other.
As a firm supporter of Girls Out Loud, it was a natural and exciting next step for Jo to become a Girls Out Loud Ambassador.
I’ve worked in recruitment for over 16 years across many different industries and I’m passionate about enabling people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential. I believe talent acquisition is about connecting purpose and potential with the right opportunity. That is what I have spent my career doing, supporting business to develop the right strategies, engaging my teams to embed processes, and creating the right environment to enable candidates, and businesses to succeed.
I started working with Girls Out Loud when I joined the Big Sister Programme, our programme was unfortunately delayed by Covid. But rather than doing nothing, me and my fellow Big Sisters decided to spend the time fundraising for Girls Out Loud – 30 days with 30 challenges!
After meeting the amazing Jane and the awesome Girls Out Loud team, I was hooked and knew I wanted to do more! I’ve had the opportunity to speak at a number of role model relays and in 2022 I saw my fabulous little sister Freya graduate from the Big Sister Programme. Seeing the change in her confidence throughout the programme was incredible and something I will always cherish.
Being asked to become an Ambassador is a real privilege, helping inspire the next generation of girls to reach their full potential, and is also very personal to me, when I’m not working I’m busy raising two little fierce ladies of my own. My hope is to help Jane and the team expand their reach and support more girls.
I founded The Talent Crowd early in 2021 having spent over 30 years working for both a Global and Major UK recruitment business at Board Level. Along with my business partner, Janine Owen , we felt there was a better way to deliver recruitment solutions to candidates and clients in today’s market and we have created a business that is truly values driven. I started my career in recruitment at the age of 25 having done a number of jobs that weren’t just right! I didn’t have a clue what I was good at or what options were available to me. It took me a while to find my spark and an industry that I am now still so passionate about. I haven’t looked back since and believe that I have the best job in the world! Changing people’s lives daily and encouraging them to take that next step in their career or helping them to find a job they love is amazing . So, working with people, developing and building teams to succeed and deliver excellence is my key driver. I love seeing people grow, develop and achieve their dreams!
I came across Girls Out Loud when I was introduced to Jane by a friend. Having listened to Jane sharing her story, I was instantly bought in and moved by their work. I wanted to get involved both personally and also to see how The Talent Crowd could be of support too. I regularly meet with businesses who are looking for ways to attract and develop more female talent and I can see that encouraging those businesses to start early, could be the first step.
I recently attended a Role Model Relay event and I could see first- hand the impact the Girls Out Loud team had. I have been so fortunate in my career, through sheer hard work and determination, I have been able to progress without too many barriers. When barriers may have been there, I simply just pushed on and ignored them. I know that this is not the case for all girls and women today and I’d love to help raise the confidence and aspirations of girls to achieve their dreams and know that they are indeed already good enough to compete in any arena they choose and to find their spark.
In my spare time I am a wife and mum to a 17 year old Son, Step mum to two gorgeous daughters and I have 2 adorable grandchildren. Not forgetting Lorenzo Madrid Caswell- aka Renzo, an adorable cockerpoo who can often be found running zoomies or rolling in the mud! I have 2 amazing sisters, I love travelling, sunshine, laughter, music and spending time with friends and family.
I am excited and honoured to be an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud and to support the work that Jane and the wider Girls Out Loud team are doing.
Kat joined Greater Manchester Police in 2003 aged just 19 years old. She worked in Uniform before becoming a Detective in 2006. The diverse roles within the police inspired Kat to work within a number of areas including with victims of serious sexual offences, within the Coroner’s Office and for two years she was seconded to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service undertaking Fire Investigations.
Since 2020 Kat has been the Detective Sergeant in a Complex Safeguarding Team working with young people at risk of Exploitation. The role is based alongside specialist health and social care professionals to support victims and to investigate the perpetrators.
In June 2023 Kat was the Runner up in the Leadership Category at the British Association of Women in Policing Awards. She was amongst those shortlisted from over 500 nominations Nationally.
Kat stepped up to be an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud after initially starting as a Big Sister in 2019. One of the best bits of being a Big Sister for Kat is getting to work with girls at an earlier stage and helping them to navigate the emotional rollercoaster of being a teenager – something Kat knew about all too well!
With seven brothers and sisters and a son of her own who is at High School, Kat has a busy time outside of work. She values friends and family above all else and has been honoured to become part of this new family of Big Sisters and teen advocates
I have been working in the world of recruitment for the last 15 years and have played a key role in growing high performing teams for companies in the eCommerce, Engineering and Cyber Security industries. The part of my job I enjoy the most is coaching candidates through successful interview processes, encouraging self-belief, and offering people their dream job at the end of the journey!
I have spent most of my career in the technology field and notice everyday what a minority women are in this sector, I believe I have a responsibility to educate and encourage more women to pursue fulfilling careers in the tech space so you will often find me talking about career development and company culture on LinkedIn and at various industry events.
I came across Girls Out Loud when I joined an introductory call with Jane to learn about the Big Sister Programme, within the first 5 minutes of Jane sharing stories and the benefits of being involved I only had one question – where do I sign up? So, I became a Big Sister in 2021, it was a truly wonderful and rewarding experience and I am now participating in my second cohort for 2022 with a new amazing little sister and an inspiring group of peers.
My advice from my experience so far would be that if you are thinking about being a Big Sister do not hesitate. Do it so you can make a real difference to a young girl’s path, do it so they know how many amazing strong female role models and supporters they have out there! Impart a bit of your wisdom and be that cheerleader every teenage girl needs so they find the drive and confidence to go after whatever they want to in life.
During my spare time you can find me out running with my dog Bruno, spending time outdoors with my two young sons and husband. I am a lover of rock music, currently learning how to play guitar; it’s been a huge challenge so far, but I am a big believer in always trying new things and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone!
I first learned of Girls Out Loud, when I was approached at work by a supplier who asked if we could support the charity. I am a Customer Experience Manager in my day-to-day role, but I am also an Employee Network Leader for our Thrive (Gender) Strand. I instantly fell in love with the work that Girls out loud do and what they stand for and am now just starting my journey as a Big Sister, I can totally relate to this programme, and I wish I had a Big Sister when growing up too!
I have over 20 years’ experience of working in the Insurance Industry, I didn’t have a privileged upbringing and that is why I feel so passionate about helping young children of today be the best that they can be, regardless of where their start is – ‘Your upbringing/background doesn’t and shouldn’t define you’ is something I have always tried to keep at the forefront of my mind. I didn’t go to university myself and I started at Direct Line Group on the phones as a Claims handler all those years ago! I have since then worked my way up to now lead a department of approx. 100 employees. I am a people person through and through and my role really allows me to support and develop people where I can.
In my spare time I love going on walks with my little boy and English bulldog called Frank! I feel very proud and honoured to be asked to be a Girls Out Loud Ambassador and I want to use this platform to help raise awareness of the amazing work that Jane and the team do, to help build the confidence in our young girls of today and to ensure they feel beautiful, brave and enough, just the way they are.
Stephanie Elswood is an online Content creator, Health and Fitness advocate and Professional Dancer. She is the Director of Body Confidence Work Shops ‘Stay Sassy’, Author of plant-based recipe ebooks ‘Plant to Plate’ and founder of sustainable travel and homeware brand ‘Sasstainable’. Her refreshing approach to healthy eating and a wellness lifestyle has been featured in numerous health and fitness magazines, including ‘Women’s Fitness’, Hello! Magazine, Grazia and Women’s Health.
2017 saw the formation of ‘Stay Sassy’ a Dance and Confidence Workshop. The class is all about female empowerment and hosts bi-monthly events for 100+ women. All profits are donated to different charities and since launch Steph and the supporters have raised over £50,000. After spending the majority of her teenage years battling with an eating disorder, Steph is making it her mission to help other women find their inner confidence and to share their light with the world.
She has since released 3 vegan recipe cookbooks demonstrating how easy it can be to make small changes in your day to day life that can positively benefit the planet.
Her environmentalist passions and efforts have lead her to start her own brand – ’Sasstainable’. Her goal is to educate her audience by releasing ethically made products from sustainable materials. Her aim is to rebuild and conserve the earth’s natural resources by replacing eco-destructive products with attractive and sustainable alternatives. Her vision is to help the world embrace sustainable living at home and on the go for an affordable price.
During her spare time, you will find Steph out in nature. She loves the outdoors and embracing the natural beauty that surrounds us. Her favourite quote is from the 1980’s film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ – “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.
Steph is over the moon to be a Girls Out Loud ambassador and to sit beside a collection of such wonderful women. She is so inspired by the work done by GOL and believes they are changing and shaping the lives of young women. To even play a small part in that is a dream come true for her.
For 21 years Nina has been the CEO of Brazen, a multi-award-winning PR agency with HQ in Manchester, advising many high-profile clients and brands on all things PR & Social Media.
Nina runs Brazen with a people-first approach, putting her 45-strong team’s mental health and wellbeing right at its heart. From giving the team monthly ‘Wellbeing Time’ and a personal Wellbeing Budget, to 121 mentoring with the agency’s in-house Talent & Life Coach, her strong, coaching-led, leadership style, and fierce female energy, define Brazen’s culture & community.
She’s been a dedicated supporter of Girls Out Loud for three years, first volunteering as a Big Sister, something Nina found incredibly rewarding and inspiring, both personally and professionally.
So much so, that Nina was honoured to join our Ambassador programme in November 2020, and now uses her PR expertise and passion for our cause to run our own PR and publicity drive. Nina and her talented PR team helps keep the Girls Out Loud name in the news – especially through profile raising for our own Jane Kenyon, who frequently speaks out on teen issues in newspapers, on TV and radio and across social media – and by doing so, highlights the multitude of challenges our teen girls are facing today, and the vital support we provide here at Girls Out Loud.
When she has some spare time, she’s a wife and loving Mum to her two (rebellious) teenage daughters and 4 needy dogs.
After 15 Years at N Brown, Jane felt the fear and did it anyway and moved to a new company and is loving it! as GOL say
Be bold , Be brave and Be you!
Joe Browns is an independently owned family business, and Jane is the buying and design director responsible for mens/women and home… Joe Browns prides themselves on bringing remarkable product to their customers and Jane is loving the creativity of the challenge of a new role in an exciting and growing business.
One of Jane’s great strengths is building and motivating large teams, ensuring that they listen to the customer, addressing her desires and needs with empathy and understanding. This allows them to build relevant fashion ranges sourced from all over the world to compete in a highly competitive market space.
Jane previously held the role of Buying Director at N Brown for just over 10 years but moved roles every 2 years, allowing her to continually learn, develop and progress. Jane was one of the first graduates within the buying team to join N Brown and progressed from Graduate to director within her 10 years.
Jane has 2 young daughters, leads a largely female workforce and obsesses over how to make Joe Browns’ customers look and feel amazing.
“with the right outfit women and girls have the confidence to change the world”
Janes goal is to empower young women and help them dream big and prove to themselves anything is possible with a bit of self believe. Jane struggled in the school system with Dyslexia but once she joined the world of work her creative thinking and strong people skills really helped her climb the career ladder. Jane feels passionately about supporting Girls Out Loud and wants to help girls find their passion and inspire them to dream big!
When Jane is not working, she loves nothing more than walking in the lake district with her family…fresh air, leggings and no makeup, often make a refreshing change from the fast paced world of fashion and retail…
Jackie has worked her way up through the ranks at Stanmore Insurance Brokers after joining in 1988 (in fact, she applied for a job at Stanmore three times before finally landing a role). In 1999 when the opportunity came up to have a real say in how the business was run, Jackie grabbed it with both hands joining the board of directors.
In 2003, alongside the commercial insurance offering of Stanmore, Jackie launched dot2dot, a specialist insurance product just for nursery schools. Fourteen years later this is now the UK’s leading nursery insurance product, in fact, it is award-winning – in December Stanmore Insurance Brokers was named Schemes Broker of the Year at the Insurance Times Awards. In 2015 Jackie went on to become the managing director and majority shareholder of Stanmore Insurance Brokers.
Key to Jackie’s success has been her focus on understanding what her customers need and providing the services to help them thrive. She had grown a network of like-minded business contacts whose products and services complement and enhance the Stanmore products resulting in a service that customers would struggle to get anywhere else.
As an ambassador of Girls Out Loud Jackie’s goal is to encourage her clients from all sectors to become more involved in empowering young women through the work of GOL, raising the profile of the RHINO girl, making sure they know anything is achievable.
When she is not working, Jackie, loves walking her dog Baxter, enjoys her downtime with country walks and seaside breaks with her husband and two grown-up children.
Caroline has recently started the next chapter of her career, taking all her 25 plus years of experience as both a Leader, Coach and Senior HR professional, and channelling it into setting up her own business, One Little Bean. She is passionate about people development and has built the foundations of her business on nurturing growth and maximising potential in all those she supports.
Prior to starting her dream role as a full time Coach, she worked for Warburtons for 12 years, culminating in her heading up the HR team at their HQ in Bolton, supporting circa 350 employees.
Working within a FMCG business brought new and exciting challenges and allowed Caroline to grow her skill set within the HR profession. She partnered with senior stakeholders to build an engaging environment where everyone was able to bring their best self to work. Working closely with high potential individuals at middle manager level and beyond, Caroline has a real passion for developing others, taking pride in helping them succeed, whatever their goals.
Prior to joining Warburtons Caroline held a number of senior management positions with Thomas Cook Retail and offshore as a Senior HR Business Partner for RBS International in Jersey. During her time on the Island she made the decision to step off the corporate ladder for a few years to run her own gift and interior design business. She learnt so much about running her own business, which has come in handy once again, whilst also taking the chance to spread her creative wings at the same time.
With people development intertwined throughout her career, Caroline’s interest in the Big Sister programme which inspires middle girls was a given and resulted in her becoming a Big Sister herself in 2016/17. Safe to say she loved it! She has naturally become a Girls Out Loud evangelist, encouraging more and more women to get involved in our work and shining a light on how organisations can both give something back, whilst developing their own people along the way.
Caroline says ‘Girls Out Loud’play a vital role in helping impressionable young girls build confidence and ultimately realise their potential. They really do make a difference and I am delighted to be part of the inspirational Ambassador team, helping to spread the word about their amazing work across my network. I will wear my Ambassador badge with purpose and pride.”
Penni is the Director and Co-Owner of ConnectIn Events in Manchester. ConnectIn specialises in the spectacular and can adapt to anything, working alongside their clients to craft seamless and unique virtual and live events! ConnectIn are now one of the leading virtual and live event companies in the UK with clients from across a range of sectors including retail, fashion, homeware and consumer goods. ConnectIn Events were the lead support with the last fundraising event for Girls Out Loud delivering a fantastic Shining Stars Ball.
Penni’s breadth of knowledge spans over 20 years and she has helped reshape ConnectIn into the event specialists they are today along with her Co-Founder David Ward and her brilliant team. A persistent ‘I can’ attitude and attention to detail is key to her success. Penni is well loved for her warm and personable nature, balanced with true professionalism, she gets the best out of everyone she works with.
When Penni is not working, you can usually find her on long walks, dancing in the kitchen or a gig, spending time at home with her two cats Mr Jones and Miss Ivy, dining in the many fantastic restaurants that Manchester has to offer or browsing the rails in stores for her next must have fashion item!
As an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud, Penni says:
‘I am so glad I grew up when I did, the statistics Jane shared with us at a past Women In Housing Awards night relating to teenage girls and their mental health, self-harming, suicides, eating disorders, bullying and lack of aspiration was truly mind blowing to hear. I am proud to be supporting Jane and her team and the amazing work they are doing to empower young girls and help them navigate such a challenging landscape. I am also incredibly pleased to help lead the Girls Out Loud fundraising events which raise so much awareness for this brilliant organisation’
Karen Turton has built a career within the hospitality industry that has so far spanned over 25 years. She started at a grass roots level running nightclubs and pubs before moving into the Learning and Development arena where she became the Group Training Manager for Choice Hotels Europe. During this role she was awarded one of the Caterer and Hotelkeeper prestigious 30 under 30 awards that then led her to move back into pubs into a more operational position.
The next decade saw her gain credibility as an operations manager and she further enhanced her skill set with a move into marketing where she headed up the value food brands as the Concept Manager. In 2005 Karen was named as one of the 6 finalists for business woman of the year at the Publican awards.
Following a successful career in pubs that saw her named as a finalist in the ALMR operations manager of the year awards she was headhunted by Nandos to be their first ever appointed female Regional Director where she remained for over 2 years before becoming UK Operations Director at Turtle Bay. Most recently Karen has made the move to set up her own business focussing on helping individuals, teams and organisations build effective communications and relationships to enhance performance through the medium of storytelling. Purple Story was founded upon the premise that every Story starts Somewhere and every Story has the potential to be Remarkable
Karen, known as KT by those that have worked with her, has a passion for leadership that she combines with learning. In 2013 she successfully gained her Masters in Multi Unit leadership after spending time researching the millennial generation and leadership impacts. This year she will continue her personal development journey by starting a PHd where she will set about to undertake some unique research specifically focussed around diversity and females. Karen is really clear that her purpose is to help the females she comes into contact with be the best they can be and help them step forward. This is what has brought her to Girls Out Loud.
Karen was introduced to Jane’s work through a colleague and the superb work immediately resonated with her own purpose and as such she is keen to support and help Jane grow the Girls Out Loud brand to ensure that as many impressionable girls are reached as soon as possible in their formative years to help them step forward into being whatever they choose to be.
With a successful career spanning the Corporate world, independent management consultancy and SME business growth, Nina launched her own Executive Search company in January 2013.
As an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud, Nina’s main objective is to ensure that her clients in the Transport Sector are aware of the amazing work being done with young girls, and are given the opportunity to support us in whatever way they can. The Rail Sector in particular needs to attract more females in to the industry, and so Girls Out Loud is a great fit with the diversity aims of the sector.
Nina is passionate about working with, developing and support people to be the very best they can be, whatever their starting point … She firmly believes that every one has the capacity to achieve amazing things, and that everyone deserves the support to help them reach for their dreams.
Nina is an eternal optimist, lover of beach walks, books and inspirational people – and her favourite place in the world is in the company of her family and friends.
To find out more about Nina visit www.intuitiverecruitment.com or follow her on twitter @ninalockwood
Lead of UK&I Diversity & Inclusion Programme – BeingMe
Nicola started as a Graduate with Pladis in 2014 and has worked across the Supply Chain in various roles, currently working in the Liverpool site as the Manufacturing Manager for some of the key brands in the portfolio – Cream Cracker, Cheddars, Twiglets and Cracker Crisps.
Nicola became familiar with the work of Girls Out Loud in 2018 as she embarked on the Big Sister journey. Empowered, engaged and excited to make a difference, alongside the day job of manufacturing, Nicola was inspired to create and lead a grass roots Diversity and Inclusion agenda at Pladis called “BeingMe”. Nicola is passionate about equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, background or ability.
Nicola has become an internal champion at Pladis enlisting further Big Sisters onto the programme and invited one of the 2018 cohorts to the McVities factory in Manchester as part of a workshop to demonstrate the breadth of opportunities in terms of careers for Little Sisters. Convinced that this programme offers extensive benefits for both the Big and Little Sister, Nicola became excited at the opportunity to provide support for all the programmes offered by Girls Out Loud.
In becoming an ambassador, Nicola hopes to support the growth of their amazing work, which is in demand now more than ever. As the pandemic has reversed a decade of progress around social mobility it is imperative organisations like Girls Out Loud have the resources to ensure it does not take a decade to recover.