The charity was created from a long-standing interest of its founder, Esther McVey, in working with young women for whom access to appropriate role models has historically been too limited. Today, Esther and her fellow trustees feel that the task is still to challenge the effects of the persistent paucity of female role models in powerful positions across almost all walks of life. Their determination is evident in the programmes they promote and the supporters they involve.

Esther McVey is a businesswoman, broadcaster and the current Member of Parliament for Tatton in Cheshire. She was made a Privy Councillor in 2014.Trained as a lawyer, Esther worked as a producer and broadcaster for the BBC and then set up her own business for training and mentoring, the success of which earned her the nomination for Woman of the Year in Cheshire and Merseyside. She went on to establish the largest business women’s network in the North West -“Winning Women” before entering Parliament in 2010.

More recently she was Chair of the British Transport Police Authority and chaired the Recruitment & Employment Federation’s Future of Jobs commission. The author of several books on careers for boys and girls, Esther has been working with the Centre for Social Justice on a review of the key factors which impact on girls’ career paths and choices.

Debbie Moore OBE founded the Pineapple Dance Studios in 1979 and developed the associated clothing brand into a major success with outlets across the country. She was the first woman to float a company on the London Stock Exchange and in 1984 was an early winner of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year award. Her book – When a Woman Means Business – offered lifestyle advice based on her own experiences and those of other pioneering female entrepreneurs.

Lucinda Ellery founder and CEO of Lucinda Ellery Consulting is a successful businesswoman on both sides of the Atlantic. She has a strong interest in women’s issues around building self-esteem and is the patron of several related charities.

Peter Bradley has worked within education and the third sector for over 25 years as a charity director and expert on safeguarding best practise with specialist skills to support young people and the professionals who work with them. Qualifying as a youth and community worker and then as a psychotherapist, his career has involved working with thousands of children. Peter has facilitated training courses throughout the UK and has delivered safeguarding and bullying intervention training internationally.

Peter worked intensively on counselling for pupils at risk of school exclusion and co-founded the ground-breaking service Youth2Youth, a peer-to-peer helpline. As a director at the children’s charity Kidscape Peter created many personal development programmes and has a particular interest in developing young people’s confidence and resilience skills. Since 2014 Peter has volunteered with the BBC Children in Need’s Rickshaw Challenge, as the Therapist/Coach responsible for the emotional welfare of the participating youngsters.

Anne Jolly has pursued successful parallel careers in pharmaceuticals and education and in both areas is an extremely experienced workshop designer and facilitator. She brings a recognised capacity to hone and nuance workshop delivery to wide-ranging groups of people and organisations.

During 20 years with the Glaxo group reporting to the UK board she was responsible for developing participative workshops for the board and their top 120 staff. At the Open University Anne was both a tutor and an academic counsellor to students throughout their degrees, and also ran training courses for fellow tutors. Moving on to the OU Business School Anne taught a wide range of subjects at Certificate, Diploma and MBA levels. Through her company Signals Consulting Anne has worked with schools to develop workshop programmes for students to practise the underpinning skills of teamwork, leadership, presentation and group working with unfamiliar colleagues, all of which are critical in preparing students for university interviews and later careers recruitment.

Sue Bridgett is the CAR Programme Director and has spent her career largely in the education and Not for Profit sectors. She has specialised in the fields of fundraising, external relations and marketing at senior level with a keen interest in partnership and stakeholder development. Sue was a board level director of the Girls’ Day School Trust for nearly 10 years, a charity providing independent education to 20,000 girls across 26 schools. There she was responsible for the development of strategic partnerships and the organisation’s charitable public benefit activities. She brokered a 3-way collaboration with HSBC and Nottingham University to create a successful summer school programme for state and independent school students, which was ultimately extended to include Chinese partner schools. She also initiated the GDST’s CareerStart workshop programme for Year 9-13 students and the GDST Associates; a 60-strong team of high achieving alumna role models who supported student career development activities.

This core team is supported by other experienced facilitators as and when required.