• Our Aims

    To network with and learn from fellow women chief executives of national and international charities.

    To network and share learning with women leaders in the public and private sectors.

    To encourage women who have the potential to become leaders in the public, voluntary and private sectors.



    If you are a woman CEO in the voluntary sector, or recently stepped down, we'd love you to join us.

    Email our Chair, Susan Daniels, Susan.Daniels@ndcs.org.uk, to sign up to our newsletter.

    See below for our upcoming events and book soon to ensure your place - we look forward to involving you.

  • Upcoming Events - book soon to be sure of a place!

    Book your place at our future events, and contact our Chair if you are interested in speaking or suggesting a speaker.

    Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, and speaker at Groundbreakers

    Sarah Brown

    Chair of Theirworld, and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education.


    Monday 11 March 2024

    16:15 – 17.45

    In-person event, at Bates Wells in London.


    Sarah Brown is Chair of the global children’s charity Theirworld, and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education.


    Since she founded Theirworld in 2002, its campaigns, advocacy and ground-breaking programmes have been rooted in the belief that every child deserves the best start in life, a safe place to learn and gain skills for the future.


    As Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, Sarah steers an alliance of more than 100 companies determined to support the expansion of quality education.

    After a successful early career as managing director of an independent communications company, in 2004 Sarah established the Jennifer Brown Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, which carries out vital, life-saving research into the causes of premature birth.


    Email our Chair Susan Daniels to book your place ASAP.

    This event is in-person, and kindly hosted by our sponsors Bates Wells, at 10 Queen Street, London EC4R 1BE

    Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, and speaker at Groundbreakers

    Day in the Life of a Co-CEO

    Come and hear from our panel consisting of the speakers below talking about their experiences as one of two Co-CEOs leading a charity in the UK.


    Thursday 16 May 2024

    16:30 - 18:00

    Online event


    Areeba Hamid, Co-CEO, Greenpeace UK:

    Areeba is co-CEO of Greenpeace UK with Will McCallum. Areeba worked at senior levels in Greenpeace offices around the world from 2006-2020, campaigning on issues like marine conservation, coal expansion in India, rainforest destruction in Indonesia, and tar sands in Canada and North America. Areeba re-joined Greenpeace from The Sunrise Project, where she led their global finance program. She was a board member of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants for four years. Born in India, she is the first woman and first person of colour to lead Greenpeace in the UK.


    Alex Kent, Co-CEO, Restless Development: Alex is the Co-CEO of Restless Development. She is a feminist leader, committed to power shifting and over 20 years experience working on social justice issues and campaigns. She is an advocate of Youth Power as one of the best ways to achieve a more just and sustainable world. Alex has worked for WaterAid, Save the Children, Comic Relief, the Global Campaign for Education, and led the 1GOAL: Education for All, in South Africa. She also has a Geography Degree and Masters in Education and International Development. She now lives in North London with her wife and 5-year-old twins.


    Sheridan Ash MBE, Co-CEO, Tech She Can:

    I am the founder and co-CEO of the charity, Tech She Can, an industry-led tech education and careers charity that creates initiatives and pathways to increase the number of women in technology. It has over 250 member organisations spanning more than 40 sectors across all regions of the UK.
    My background is working with boards and senior executives in multiple sectors, formulating and leading technology- and innovation-driven strategy and transformation programmes, including digital transformation. I previously worked at Accenture and led Technology and Innovation at PwC.

    I was named by Computer Weekly as the third most influential women in UK Technology in 2023 and as one of the 30 most influential women in Cyber in 2021. In 2023 I was recognised by Forward Ladies as Business Women of the Year and Social Impact Leader of the Year. In 2020 I was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to young girls and women through technology.

  • Blogs

    Lead without fear: Tackling Racism in our Organisations - Parts 1 and 2.

    Written by Aleema Shivji, Executive Director, Impact & Investment at Comic Relief, former CEO Humanity & Inclusion UK, and member of Groundbreakers Steering Group, after chairing our Groundbreakers events in January 2022 and September 2020.
    Aleema Shivji's second blog in our Groundbreakers series Lead without Fear: Tackling Racism in our Organisations, written for International Women's Day 8th March 2022. In July 2020, I chaired Groundbreakers' first “Lead without Fear: Tackling Racism in our Organisations” event for UK-based...
    Lead without fear: tackling racism in our organisations Author: Aleema Shivji, Executive Director, Impact & Investment at Comic Relief, former CEO at Humanity & Inclusion UK, and member of the Steering Group for Groundbreakers. Twitter @AleemaShivji A few weeks ago I had the honour of hosting...
  • Get Involved

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    We'll keep you posted on events and updates. We won't use your email address for anything else! Sign up here to be kept updated about our events.


    Join Groundbreakers

    Membership is open to all women charity chief executives both current and former, and is currently free thanks to generous in-kind support from Bates Wells.

    Sign up for our email updates here.


    Check out our upcoming events above. Book your free ticket ASAP to be sure of a place. Hear our inspirational speakers and join in the discussions. Come along and get involved.


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  • Quotes

    What our members say about us...

    Aleema Shivji,

    Executive Director of Impact and Investment, Comic Relief, and previously CEO at Humanity & Inclusion UK

    "I couldn’t recommend Groundbreakers more – it’s a fantastic opportunity to listen to some incredibly inspiring speakers, make new connections, and importantly, take a step away from the day to day to think about leadership and a whole host of big picture things that are so crucial in our roles as CEOs but we often struggle to find time for. Some of my best ideas have come to me while I’ve been at a Groundbreakers event!"

    Member guest at our Summer Reception May 2019

    "It was a really excellent session last night and I thought Helen struck just the right note for the group. I really appreciated the opportunity to attend, network and hear from a really open, honest and inspiring speaker."

    Gail Scott-Spicer,

    CEO, Kings College Hospital Charity

    "Purpose-driven, values-led leadership, of (and by) women. Honest, open and human words from Helen (Stephenson). Inspirational."

    Caroline Diehl MBE

    Executive Chair, Together TV, and founder, Social Founder Network

    “During my years as Founder CEO of Media Trust and Community Channel I regularly attended Groundbreakers events. We had some stunning speakers, who, under the Chatham House Rule, told us fascinating stories about their career challenges, their personal journeys, crises, successes, learnings and impact. Lots of stories of tears and laughter, learnings and inspiration. I loved meeting with other women CEOs in a safe, relaxing space too.”

    Susan Daniels

    CEO, National Deaf Children's Society, and Chair of Groundbreakers

    "If you are a CEO of a voluntary organisation, I do encourage you to join Groundbreakers. You will hear from some fantastic female leaders from the private, voluntary and public sectors and have the opportunity to exchange opinions and network with your peers in convivial surroundings. What could be better?"

  • Tweets

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