We are delighted to announce that Julie Ann Gillespie, Relationships Director at HSBC Commercial Banking, has joined our board.

Julie has over 20 years’ experience in various banking roles working at Lloyds, Halifax and HSBC. She was also Chair of Trustees for a North Wales-based charity, Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU), supporting survivors of domestic abuse.

Julie is incredibly passionate about empowering women and we’re delighted that she’s joined our team.

We sat down with Julie to find out more on why she wanted to be part of The Women’s Organisation and her plans moving forward. Take a read ..

What made you want to join The Women’s Organisation’s board?

You could say, in short, it’s a topic I am passionate about.  My Mum was a strong female role model, juggling work, an education and young children.  I remember sitting at the back of one of her lectures in the early eighties at a very young age!

Being one of 4 daughters provides insight into the many challenges women overcome at different stages of their lives. I’ve observed how education, access to support and a helping hand when things aren’t going so well can be vital ‘enablers’ to empower women, to make positive changes to their lives and where relevant, the lives of their children.

Having worked as a Trustee in the domestic abuse sector for many years, I’m proud to have recently joined The Women’s Organisation and I’m sure my previous experience in the third sector and during my 20 years in banking/the private sector can be put to use to help push forward our agenda.

How do our values around women’s economic empowerment align with your own?

Completely – the role that Maggie and her team play in driving hard the agenda to improve the economic position of women and people from deprived communities is critical to the wider economic success of the Liverpool City region.

They do a fantastic job of voicing what would otherwise be left unheard due to the absence of diversity in many public and private sector organisations. The business case evidences the value inclusion and diversity brings, so for an economy thrive, we must make opportunities accessible for all. This means minimising the barriers that slow down such progress.  Regardless of the economic benefits, it is the right thing to do.

From your skills and experience, what will you bring to the organisation?

I have 20 years experience working in large private organisations, across all manner of roles and functions. I’ve worked (unpaid) in the not for profit sector and I’m an avid reader. Having graduated with a first class honours degree in business only 6 years ago I consider this knowledge fairly fresh and would class strategy and people a particular strength.  Being a mum, sister, friend, daughter and also having worked in a heavily male dominated environments, I’m reasonably informed and use personal experience to add insight, add value and of course, opinion.

What are you most excited about?

The last 24 months has been very eventful; the press regarding equal pay, #metoo movement, exposures on unacceptable practices. I am therefore most excited about what’s yet to unfold and being part of the change I want to see.  As Maya Angelou would have said, ‘all great achievements take time!’