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!
Christine is Deputy Chief Executive at the New Charter Group, a social business based in Tameside owning over 19,500 homes, with a turnover of over £100 million and a workforce of 900 people. Our mission is to provide GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods and GREAT People.
At New Charter Christine is responsible for Corporate Services including Risk Management, Human Resources, Organisational Development, Facilities Management, Health & Safety, Business Transformation, Communications, Legal and Governance Services. She has worked with a range of public and private sector organisations helping them to build great organisations and maximise the impact their people have.
Christine is married and has two grown up daughters who have both had great opportunities through education which she believes should be available to all girls. She is passionate about access to education and is a Director of the Great Academies Education Trust sponsoring four academies in Tameside and Rochdale responsible for 4,000 children. Christine is also Chair of Governors at Copley Academy.
Having brought Girls Out Loud into the Trust’s academies to work with their girls, Christine has seen the impact it can have and she is keen to extend the reach of Girls Out Loud across the region.
Christine is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Shiona is a Chartered Civil Engineer and member of the Association for Project Management. Currently a Construction Manager for Costain Ltd, Shiona’s career has predominantly seen her in site based roles for a variety of infrastructure projects from airfield, rail and highway schemes. She is passionate about improving communities and our lives through infrastructure.
Despite 13 years in the industry and one of the many publicised 9% of women in industry, she is still sometimes greeted with surprise at her gender and site based management role. This is something she is keen to change, and is thankfully seeing progress, albeit slowly.
At her first Girls Out Loud event talking to a group of 13/14 year olds, Shiona asked the girls what they thought a civil engineer did and was greeted with responses that included “picking dead bodies out of cars miss” and “cut apart cars when they have crashed”; having explained the role she was then asked; “Isn’t that a boy’s job?” and “What’s it like being a girl just working with lots of men?” Saddened that there are still perceived boys and girls jobs this single comment rallied her to commit to support the work of Girl’s Out Loud; to be a role model to prove girls can do any job! More importantly, to support girls to have the confidence to go and try!
In her role as a Big Sister, Shiona has seen her Little Sister build her confidence to realise she can, should and now frequently does, ask questions in class. The crippling fear of ‘getting something wrong so I won’t try’ is something Shiona can relate to so she has challenged her Little Sister and seen some massive changes. Recently her mentee secured a role dancing in the main Disney parade at Disneyland Paris next summer; having found her confidence to audition.
Throughout her Big Sister experience Shiona has challenged her own limiting fears and has seen a number of opportunities open up to her. The opportunity to support the work of Girls Out Loud further as a member of the Board being one of her proudest.
Loretta has very recently joined Bristol-Myers Squibb as the EMEA Employee Relations Lead. Loretta and her team are working towards delivering a new employee relations service to the business for 30 countries in the EMEA region.
Loretta grew up in inner city Manchester and went to Levenshulme High School for girls, Xaverian college followed by Liverpool John Moores University. Loretta only found her HR ‘calling’ later in life, and went on the study professionally at night school and is now fully Chartered in Personnel and Development.
Now with two young daughters of her own, Loretta is keen that she can offer young girls of today’s society support and guidance to become truly awesome in whatever they chose to do.
Loretta is already a Big Sister on one of our programmes and is very much looking forward to becoming a Board Member.
Gary Palmer is the Managing Director of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s North West division. He oversees in excess of 400 employees and is responsible for more than 50 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’
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 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!
Nikki is a director of Fourth Day, a public relations agency with offices in Manchester, London, Paris, Berlin and Casablanca. She advises private and not-for-profit organisations on their communications strategy, incorporating media and influencer relations as well as crisis or issues management.
Nikki began her PR career in 1995 and co-founded Fourth Day in 2002. Since then has trained and mentored numerous graduates and young professionals who want to build a career in the PR industry.
Fourth Day is a corporate supporter of Forever Manchester, the community foundation for Greater Manchester, and Nikki has also served as a North West Board Member for Action for Children’s flagship fundraising event, Byte Night. Held annually, Byte Night is a coming together of corporate communities to raise money to tackle youth homelessness.
As a director of Girls Out Loud’s official PR agency, Nikki is excited by the opportunity to extend her support by joining the board and playing an even greater role in communicating the amazing work done by Jane’s team and the wider Big Sister network.
David is very proud to be the first male to be appointed to the GOL Advisory Board. David is an experienced school leader and first came across Girls Out Loud as Principal of Oasis Academy Oldham. David is now Principal of an all boys Academy in Liverpool but remains committed to the GOL’s work. Over the last 20 years David’s career has seem him teach Physical Education in one of the early leading Specialist Sports Colleges, teach in an international school in Hong Kong, lead a local School Sport Partnership and then later work for the highly esteemed Youth Sport Trust as the national lead for School Sport Partnerships. Having gained exceptional experience in his subject area, David wanted to take these skills back to the front line of education and one day lead a school but only where schools may have been seen as being on the margins of society. In 2009 David successfully joined the Future Leaders programme which is designed to develop leaders for challenging urban schools. In 2012 David very proudly became the Principal of Oasis Academy in Oldham and subsequently merged two predecessor schools together into a state of the art building and led the school out of an Ofsted category of concern. Girls Out Loud was an integral part of this plan.
Girls Out Loud holds a very special place in David’s heart, not just because of the life affirming and nurturing work it does with some of the most marginalised young women in society but also because he was first introduced to the programme by his best friend, then herself a Big Sister. Sadly his friend, Rachel passed away a year later and its with her devotion, love and inspiration to the cause in mind, that David wishes to support Girls Out Loud in her memory and honour.
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 www.birdhousefund.org 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.
Kirsty is an equity partner at DWF (Lawyers) where she heads the Employment and Pensions Practice Group nationally. She has an excellent reputation in her field advising both public and private sector clients at employment tribunals with a particular specialism in unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistle blowing claims. Her team have been nominated as employment team of the year 3 times in the last year and she is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences.
Kirsty will lead on all matters legal at Girls Out Loud bringing her wealth of knowledge to the table and enthusiasm for our cause. As a new mother who has just adopted two girls who have had a difficult beginning Girls Out Loud fits her values and she is looking forward to the opportunity.
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.