Welcome to our Jane Slowey memorial members

Support and development for women in leadership

Eight women leaders have been selected for cohort one (2019/2020) of the Jane Slowey memorial membership programme: 

  • Ropinder Gill, chief executive, Lymphoma Action
  • Karen Pearse, director, PSI Volition
  • Jilna Shah, co-director, Migrants’ Rights Network
  • Emily Banks, founder, Stack Recruitment
  • Carol Akiwumi, chief executive, Money4Youth
  • Ciara Davies, chief executive, Metro Moneywise Credit Union
  • Tara-Jane Sutcliffe, director, UNA Exchange
  • Precious Sithole, chief executive, Social Practice

Each recipient of the Jane Slowey memorial membership programme receives full ACEVO membership, a mentor, four learning/networking/training days with fellow cohorts, and two annual dinners with fellow cohorts. The recipients of the first cohort will become the mentors for the second cohort starting in 2021. 

"It was inspiring and humbling to read all the applications for the Jane Slowey memorial programme. The selection panel was particularly impressed by the willingness of the candidates to express their vulnerabilities as well as their aspirations and ambitions." Vicky Browning, chief executive, ACEVO

All 116 applications were assessed and the final shortlist approved by the steering committee formed by Rosie Ferguson (CEO, Gingerbread), David Gold (CEO, Prospectus), Bethia McNeil (director, The Centre for Youth Impact), Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa (CEO, The Foyer Foundation), and Vicky Browning (CEO, ACEVO). 

About the recipients:

Ropinder Gill, chief executive, Lymphoma Action

Ropinder has been working in the charity sector for 17 years and she is now leading an organisation delivering specialist services to people affected by lymphoma. She is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring strategy for the effective delivery of operational and strategic goals. Ropinder will be mentored by Nick Wilkie, chief executive, National Childbirth Trust.

"I'm grateful and delighted to be given this exciting opportunity to be mentored by leading figures from the charity sector."

Karen Pearse, director, PSI Volition

Karen has recently become director of a small charity that offers infrastructure support to the health and care third sector in Leeds. She is the lead officer representing the Leeds mental health and physical and sensory impairment third sector in joint work and discussions with the statutory sector in strategic planning and commissioning, as well as development of services. Karen will be mentored by Helen Marshall, chief executive, Brook.

"I was so pleased to see this scheme focusing specifically on developing women in leadership roles."

Jilna Shah, co-director, Migrants’ Rights Network

Jilna wants to be able to convey the intersections of migration, race and gender with clarity and boldness, to maximise the impact of her organisation’s campaigns. As a co-director, she manages a project that coordinates campaigns and advocacy aimed at dismantling the hostile environment for migrants in London. Jilna will be mentored by Thomas Lawson, chief executive, Leap Confronting Conflict.

"I can't wait to implement all of the learning at my organisation."

Emily Banks, founder, Stack Recruitment

Emily wants to be a catalyst for change among the autistic community, helping people with autism to live and achieve the lives they very much deserve in the face of adversity. To achieve this, she founded a social enterprise start-up during her BA at the University of Sheffield: a micro-specialised recruitment agency that aims to get young autistic adults into sustainable employment. Emily will be mentored by Rosie Ferguson, chief executive of Gingerbread.

"I’m so excited for the years to come, to continue the legacy of such an incredible woman and create a lasting impact that will really help shape the future for the better."

Carol Akiwumi, chief executive, Money4Youth

Carol has extensive international work experience and has been using her entrepreneurial and analytical skills within the charity sector for the past 10 years. She is a founding member of Money4Youth, an organisation that equips individuals and grassroots organisations in the UK and Africa with financial education and entrepreneurial skills. Carol will be mentored by Rosemary Watt-Wyness, chief executive, London Youth. 

"It is a huge honour to be given this opportunity to excel and to help to inspire others in the future."

Ciara Davies, chief executive, Metro Moneywise Credit Union

Ciara has recently secured her first CEO role in the sector after 10 years as a voluntary board member. She leads an all-female team and wants to grow the organisation over the next few years, which will include implementing a digital transformation. Ciara will be mentored by Matt Hyde, chief executive of Scouts.

"I am looking forward to meeting others in my position and sharing our stories as well as learning from other more experienced CEOs."

Tara-Jane Sutcliffe, director, UNA Exchange

Tara stepped up to her role in August 2017 and her first year has involved securing significant funds to ensure the charity’s continuing viability, as well as restructuring to address high staff turnover. As director, she is responsible for risk, performance and financial management, working closely with trustees to ensure compliance and good governance. Tara will be mentored by Matt Stevenson-Dodd, chief executive, Street League.

"I very much look forward to a challenging and stimulating year ahead of personal and professional growth with ACEVO."

Precious Sithole, chief executive, Social Practice

Precious decided to start a social enterprise while doing her MA on charity management after realising that there were significant issues within the charity sector that needed to be addressed, such as underrepresentation of BAME individuals and the falling levels of public trust. Her aim is to work with charities to advance responsible organisational practices, which will help improve the sector as a whole. Precious will be mentored by Charlotte Hill, chief executive, Step Up to Serve.

"I feel greatly honoured to be associated with the legacy of Jane Slowey, who advocated for gender equality in third sector leadership."