charity sector employees
charity sector employees

Inspiration stories: 14 talented female charity sector employees share their ‘why’

Our celebration for International Women’s Day

According to the Pro Bono Economics report from last year, women currently make up around 68% of charity sector employees. As a creative agency, working with charities, it’s no surprise, therefore, that most of the people we work with are women.

As fierce believers in empowering women to reach their fullest potential we decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March this year, by taking a moment to champion some of the inspiring women we work with in the charity sector.


So, we asked them what drew them to work for their chosen charity, and which superpower they use most in their work.The answers we received were fascinating. Women in these roles are frequently leaning into their superpowers like empathy, intuition, and resilience to get the job done. The gift of ‘collaborative alchemy’ is something we’d all love to have in our armoury!

Read on to find out what working life is like as a senior marketer at the British Red Cross, Dementia UK, Walking With The Wounded and several other amazing charities.


Abi Aldridge headshot

Abi Aldridge

Head of Communications, Place2Be

What drew you to your particular charity?

As a big sister, youth group leader and from my own experiences, I’ve seen how difficult growing up can be – even more so in the current political and social climate. Place2Be helps young people get the support they need, when and where they need it. I wanted to be a part of that and use my skills and expertise to make an impact on children and young people’s lives – five years on, I feel so lucky to be able to log on every day and continue to make that impact!

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

Empathy! Communications can be high pressure and challenging at times – especially when you’re working in a charity, or in the mental health space – so it’s so important that I’m kind to my team, to the children, schools and families we support, and to myself! Those we support are the core of what we do, but that should never come at the expense of our colleague’s wellbeing, so I spend a lot of my time as team leader considering how best to support my people – especially when we’re working with such emotive subject matter.

Teena Antoniou

Head of Marketing and Communications at Haven House Children’s Hospice

What drew you to your particular charity?

Seeing the impact we have on families directly and meeting many of the families who use the hospice services.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

I think empathy is something I use regularly, understanding what families, who are using hospice services, go through is key.

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Ellie Brooke Headshot

Ellie Brooke

PR Manager at Prostate Cancer UK

What drew you to your particular charity?

I wanted to use my comms experience in the charity sector, and joining Prostate Cancer UK was really appealing, as they were at a stage of growth (across brand, income and people). Over my ten years at the charity, I’ve seen and been involved in rebrands and new strategies, office moves, as well as many a social team!

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

Resilience is the badass superpower I use most in my job. My role can vary from strategic planning to project, people, stakeholder and crisis management, to creative brainstorming through to impactful coverage delivery – and anything in between. The resilience I’ve built allows me to commit, flex, learn, empathise, be passionate, embrace change and influence. It’s helpful that my job has developed my resilience over the years because you really need it when juggling a full-time job with being a mum of two spirited young boys.

Hannah Charlton

Corporate Communications Officer at The Co-op Foundation

What drew you to your particular charity? 

I used to work for Co-op in the PR team and had always wanted to use my skills within a charity setting. So when a job came up I jumped at the chance – I love how co-operative values are woven into everything we do. I love the open and supportive approach we take to those we fund.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why?

Empathy. Embracing that sensitivity and tapping into our human side I think makes us more effective in our jobs (and it’s way more enjoyable, too!)

Hannah Charlton headshot
Nikki Dumbleton headshot

Nikki Dumbleton

Senior Marketing Manager at British Red Cross

What drew you to your particular charity?

I love working for the British Red Cross, a truly inspiring charity with humanity at its core. The breadth of causes we support and the real difference we make to other lives; that’s what gets me out of bed each morning.


Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why?

I’m not sure it’s necessarily a superpower, but compassion and kindness are important qualities, alongside the skills of being pretty organised and having a vision for change, innovation and opportunity!

Judith Escribano

Deputy Director of Communications at Action Against Hunger UK

What drew you to your particular charity? 

The chance to play my part in tackling life-threatening hunger and malnutrition

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

Multi-taking, because the job of a comms professional is never simple!

Judith Escribano headshot
Louise Griew headshot

Louise Griew

Chief Executive at Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity

What drew you to your particular charity? 

The charity’s cause is incredible – providing specialist nurses and support for seriously ill children. I felt very ambitious for the charity to do even more than they did. I have a commercial background, and I felt I had the skills and experience to take them on this journey.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

Being super kind and nice to people – it doesn’t cost anything but makes people happy and feel valued.

Grace Haughton

Head of Marketing and Brand at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

What drew you to your particular charity? 

I have a deep commitment to impactful and meaningful work. Joining SSAFA, an organisation which provides welfare and wellbeing support, aligned my passion for making a difference in the world and my personal values of compassion and empathy. I continue to strive to ensure that everyone who could seek help knows that help is here.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

My superpower and superhero persona would be the “collaborative alchemist”, I like to blend the unique and diverse strengths and skills of team members into a powerful force. I also need the ability to foster collaboration to turn briefs and challenges into opportunities and marketing activities that attract people to seek help.

Grace Haughton headshot
Sarah Hughes headshot

Sarah Hughes

Head of Automotive Industry Partnerships at Ben Automotive Industry Charity

What drew you to your particular charity? 

Having worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years and knowing the issues that colleagues had faced I wanted to promote Ben and ensure no one in the automotive industry need suffer alone.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

My exceptional ability to multitask effectively! Juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities while maintaining focus and attention to detail is a valuable skill; it enables me to manage projects efficiently, prioritise tasks effectively, and adapt to changing priorities. My superpower not only showcases my resilience and organisational prowess but also enhances my overall effectiveness at the charity!

Caroline Morrow

Head of Marketing at Cure Parkinson’s

What drew you to your particular charity?

I met Tom Isaacs. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 27, he co-founded Cure Parkinson’s – a small charity with big ideas – and was determined to change the face of Parkinson’s research and find a cure. As its third staff member, I saw the enormous challenges he overcame every day to make and influence change. His energy and optimism inspired me and everyone who knew him. Sadly, Tom died in 2017 but his vision lives on. We fund cutting-edge research that’s bringing us closer to a cure. It’s a privilege to be a part of the charity’s incredible journey and everything it’s achieved.

 Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why?

Empathy. I aim to serve a community of people who face enormous challenges in everyday life that I can only try to understand. It’s only by connecting with and listening to their experiences that we can tune into their emotions, frustrations and challenges and try to be truly representative of them.

Caroline Morrow headshot
Claire Sandham headshot

Claire Sandham

Marketing and Brand Lead at Dementia UK

What drew you to your particular charity? 

Dementia is one of the most feared and devastating conditions out there, and also affects my lovely mum who has Alzheimer’s disease. There’s not a lot that beats that in terms of motivation.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

I can’t do my job without great people around me, so leaning into my team, my colleagues and wider community. I also make sure that if I drop plates (because there’s always an awful lot spinning and yes I drop plates), it’s the ones that don’t actually matter (I’m learning to get over the constant guilt trips).

Amy Simpson

Brand Design Manager at BookTrust

What drew you to your particular charity? 

I get so much enjoyment myself from reading for pleasure and I love seeing children capture the love and magic of reading. I’m delighted that my work contributes to more children, particularly those that don’t have easy access to books, being able to experience the magic of reading. 

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

Intuition. Sometimes I just have a feeling about what will work creatively or what might not. As a woman in Marketing, I’m learning to be more confident in listening to that intuition in the workplace and being bold enough to follow it.

Amy Simpson headshot
Emma Wallis headshot

Emma Wallis

Senior Content Lead at Diabetes UK

What drew you to your particular charity? 

The idea of user-centred content design was fresh on the scene then, and Diabetes UK grabbed it with both hands by founding a brand new Content team. I was excited to take a leading role in implementing their user-led, content strategy and help make a real difference to people living with and affected by such a complex, largely self-managed health condition.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

I work with so many different people across every single team in Diabetes UK, and of course with lots of people externally too, so try to consider their individual communication preferences and empathise with each person. I don’t know if it’s a superpower but building impactful relationships while also just trying to get things out the door can be incredibly challenging, so in my experience empathy can go a long way!

Eleanor Whitelegg

Head of Marketing & Engagement at Walking With The Wounded

What drew you to your particular charity

WWTW’s 1-2-1 service is such a unique and high-quality offering, but can be difficult to understand from the outside. I knew that if I could have an impact by growing the charity’s voice and reach, we could truly help veterans achieve their fullest potential.

Which superpower do you use most regularly in your job, and why? 

Intuition, from listening to others’ experiences and points of view and connecting the dots to create patterns and solutions. From paying attention to those around me and reflecting on it all together. I know men that are incredible at this too, the difference for me comes from combining strategic intuition (typically a masculine energy) with an intuition for people – what they need to thrive and how they could grow with the right support (a more feminine energy).

Eleanor Whitelegg headshot

A huge thanks to all of the women who took part in this piece!

Why not get in touch to find out how we support women in the charity sector with quarterly networking events?

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