Why is having a female CEO at Penny Appeal a huge milestone?
According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5, gender equality is ‘a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world’. This is something we strongly believe in here at Penny Appeal and encouraging female leaders is something we are extremely passionate about.
According to the European Fundraising Association, one third of the top charities in the UK are run by women. While this number has improved over the years, there is still a significant disparity in the number of male vs female CEOS within the charity sector.
This is even more so the case when looking at the UK Muslim charity sector specifically, where none of the top charities are led by women. In fact, our newly appointed CEO at Penny Appeal, Ridwana Wallace-Laher, has made history as the first Muslim Woman to hold such a position within a major Muslim-led international charity.
This is a huge milestone for Penny Appeal and the entire UK Muslim charity sector, as it signifies change, representation, equality, fresh ideas, new perspective, and gives a platform for a woman’s compassion, empathy and take on the world to be recognised, maximised, and celebrated.
It’s safe to say that running a charity organisation is no walk in the park, regardless of their gender, charity CEO’s have a huge weight on their shoulders. Ensuring the books balance, keeping the team inspired and motivated, feeding back to donors, ensuring the marketing is innovative, making sure the IT department is operational, on the lookout for funding opportunities, being ready to respond to a crisis effectively and efficiently, fulfilling the organisations goals and objectives all while navigating through an ever-changing world – it’s a lot, and it definitely takes a certain type of person to be able to fulfil this role with love, compassion, dedication and care. It was a lengthily selection process with a total of 100 applications, however Ridwana’s extensive experience, skills and expertise secured her the position.
It’s been a week since Ridwana started her role as CEO and this is what some of the Penny Appeal team had to say about her new position:
‘’It’s great to see a woman at the helm here at Penny Appeal, we’ve seen men at the rudder for far too long, and it’s now time for change. This is empowering for all women in the Muslim charity sector and beyond, and I have no doubt this will encourage other women to push for more senior positions.’’
‘’I see women as the backbone of society when it comes to showing compassion towards concerns around health, well-being, and poverty, and to have a woman as CEO of any charity means that the charities focus and views on the outside world will be different to that of a charity led by a man.’’
‘’This is what the Muslim charity sector needs, a female CEO, there are far too many men running organisations without considering the knowledge and expertise that women bring, this is so important, especially in the charity sector.’’
We are extremely passionate about equality here at Penny Appeal and can’t wait to see what this exciting chapter will bring for the Penny Appeal family – watch this space!
WEDNESDAY 1 MAR 2023