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By Betty Adams | 08.03.24

International Women’s Day: being inspired

During March each year, the world gears up to commemorate a day which not only celebrates the achievements of women, but also carries the torch for inclusion and equality. This year’s theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’ serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing journey towards gender equality, highlighting the importance of uplifting all women.

This year’s theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’ serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing journey towards gender equality, highlighting the importance of uplifting all women.

To mark this significant day, we’ve asked our senior leaders to share their personal reflections on the individuals who have inspired and influenced them along their own leadership paths. From company directors to family members, these stories remind us of the power of role models in sparking inspiration and driving progress towards gender equality.

As part of International Women’s Day, we heard from two of our senior leaders: Alison Cater, Assistant Director for Governance and Policy, and Helen McGlinchey, Director of Children and Young People Services.

The journey so far

What does your role as a leader look like?

Alison: In my current role, I handle everything from information governance and complaints to health and safety, and more. I’ve gained experience from working in different sectors, including third sector organisations, local councils and the NHS. My background includes roles in public health, freelance training, and working directly with marginalised groups.

As the chair of Women’s Health Matters, a feminist organisation in Leeds, International Women’s Day is close to my heart.

Helen: I’m the Director of Children and Young People Services and Clinical Lead at Northpoint, where I provide senior leadership and clinical oversight for therapeutic services. With a background as a counsellor and clinical supervisor, I’ve worked across various sectors, including the NHS, and education and community settings, where I’ve supported adults, children, young people, and families.

My passion lies in early intervention, and ensuring individuals can access the support they need, when they need it.

Sparking inspiration

Who’s been your source of inspiration on your leadership journey, and what made them so impactful?

Alison: I’ve been inspired by countless women throughout my journey, from resilient teenagers to top executives. The leaders who’ve fuelled my ambition share common traits: fairness, empathy, talent, development, and visionary thinking. Carol Burns, former director at Women’s Health Matters, helped shape my leadership style and gave me confidence in my own abilities.

Candida Hunt, co-founder of Family Links, made a lasting impression on me. Her fierce intellect, determination and empathy were incredibly inspiring. I aim to strike this balance in my work, particularly as I often deal with challenging situations, such as data breaches and complaints. Both these women are solution-focused, even when times are tough.

Helen: My aunt, Catherine McGlinchey, has been my greatest inspiration on my leadership journey. Joining a convent at 17, she trained as a nurse and was sent to South Africa to work as a nurse and midwife, supporting disadvantaged communities in schools, hospitals and clinics for 10 years.

Returning home to care for my grandma, she continued her nursing career, eventually managing the Multiple Sclerosis Centre in York until retirement. Catherine has been a positive leader and role model in our family, and has supported us across the generations. She’s well loved in the community, and has touched many lives, including vulnerable families affected by domestic violence.

I admire Catherine’s positivity, spirituality, social values, empathy and compassion. Trust, relationships, vision, creativity, and support are all values I've learnt from her.

Who has inspired you? Let us know at @NorthpointMH



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