The Fawcett team is based in Vauxhall, south London, and is supported by a team of volunteers and temporary staff. If you are a journalist or have an urgent media inquiry, please contact Fresh Communication on 0117 369 0025, 07769 66 66 27 or 07876 378 733. You can also email [email protected].

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive

Sam joined Fawcett in August 2015 as Chief Executive. Prior to that she was the Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus for over six years. Sam is no stranger to equalities and gender issues having worked for both the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. She also served as a Fawcett trustee between 2007 and 2010, was a trustee of Gingerbread for seven years and has nine years’ experience working in Parliament. Sam is passionate about equal representation, valuing and sharing care and closing the gender pay gap. She has made a big impact already and focused on creating a brilliant team, driving forward an intersectional approach to our work and devising an exciting programme to mark 100 years of women's suffrage. Sam has four children so no time for much else. Contact Sam at sam.smethers[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Senior Management Team

Hester Liakos, Head of Strategy & Business Development

Hester joined Fawcett in December 2018 as part of the Senior Management Team. Her role is to provide strategic leadership to the organisation’s income generation and fundraising objectives, and to ensure the overall smooth running of the operation.

Prior to joining Fawcett, Hester spent five and a half years working for the National Trust, leading one of their highest profile property portfolios in London & the South-East. She was responsible for delivering a business plan that encompassed dual core purposes of conservation and supporter engagement, and commercial and project opportunities. Prior to this Hester worked in business development, departmental leadership and project management for LexisNexis UK for nine years, following several years in B2B publishing conferences and training.

A lifelong feminist and mum of two (three if you include the dog), she is passionate about her new role and commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Fawcett through funding, supporter engagement and organisational effectiveness. Contact Hester at hester.liakos[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Policy & Campaigns

The Policy and Campaigns team carries out research and gathers evidence to enable us to give authoritative comment on the key issues that concern women today. We develop evidence-based policy to inform debates, often working closely with like-minded organisations to develop up-to-the-minute and thorough research.

Ella Smillie, Head of Policy and Campaigns (Job share)

Ella joined Fawcett in June 2019 as Head of Policy and Campaigns (job share). Ella started her career at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and went on to work on Regulatory Policy at the Committees of Advertising Practice, the code-owning body of the Advertising Standards Authority. Ella led the Advertising Standards Authority work on gender stereotypes in advertising which culminated in a new rule to prevent ads from including harmful gender stereotypes. The passion and energy that drove this work led Ella to the Fawcett Society where she is determined to fight sexism and gender inequality in all its forms. Ella lives in Wales and is a co-founder of Benthyg, Wales’ first library of things, she has three children and enjoys exploring the Welsh countryside.

Gemma Rosenblatt, Head of Policy and Campaigns (Job share)

Gemma joined Fawcett in June 2019 as Head of Policy and Campaigns (job share). Prior to that she led the research programmes at the Advertising Standards Authority and the Electoral Commission. She is a trustee of Working Families and sits on the advisory board of the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College. She is also a school governor. Gemma worked at the Fawcett Society in 2003-04 as an assistant to the Commission on Women and the Criminal Justice System. She is excited to be back working at the home of British feminism. 

Andrew Bazeley, Policy & Insight Manager

Andrew Bazeley, Policy & Insight Manager

Andrew joined Fawcett in October 2016 and works to develop policy using our evidence base, with a particular focus on quantitative research. Before joining Fawcett he worked for three years in Westminster as a policy advisor on work and pensions issues, and for four years in local government including a year spent managing a ‘big data’ team. He is passionate about women’s representation at all levels of political life, challenging the harm done by gender norms, and valuing unpaid care work. In his spare time he is a school governor, and loves clubbing and novels. Contact Andrew at andrew.bazeley[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk

Lucie Parker, Senior Policy and Research Officer

Lucie joined Fawcett in May 2019, working across the development and delivery of Fawcett’s research and policy work. Lucie delivers quantitative and qualitative research projects and builds evidence-based policy across Fawcett’s three priority areas: money, power and gender norms and stereotypes. Before joining Fawcett, she worked for four years at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a global counter-extremism think tank. She managed high-profile, international education and gender programmes and policy work in partnership with governments, technology companies and civil society organisations. In her spare time Lucie volunteers for Glitch, an organisation seeking to end online abuse and harassment, providing subject matter expertise that feeds into Glitch’s digital citizenship education work, as well as supporting the ongoing delivery of Glitch’s policy and advocacy strategy. Contact Lucie at lucie.parker[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Sanmeet Kaur, Policy and Public Affairs Officer

Sanmeet joined Fawcett in October 2018 and works on policy and public affairs. Before joining Fawcett, Sanmeet worked for a social mobility charity and has also interned for a local government think-thank and a Member of Parliament. Sanmeet is passionate about tackling violence against women and has previously volunteered for a domestic violence charity. She is also on the executive team of The Patchwork Foundation, an organisation seeking to get young people from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds involved in British politics. In 2018, Sanmeet was nominated by the US Embassy London to take part in the International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP), travelling across the US to learn about youth empowerment and civic engagement. She is a Young Critic for The Almeida Theatre and in her spare time, enjoys writing and has had her work published in gal-dem magazine and Media Diversified. Contact Sanmeet at sanmeet.kaur[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Heenali Patel, Communications Officer

Heenali Patel, Communications Manager

Heenali has been with The Fawcett Society since February 2017, and works across social media, the website and promoting new campaigns. She also works closely with the Fundraising team to drive membership and engagement. Heenali is a keen advocate for women’s rights, particularly among minority ethnic women in the UK. She is Editor-in-Chief for 1000women, a media platform telling the stories of minority ethnic women who identify as LGBTQ, are living with HIV, or have experienced mental distress. Prior to joining Fawcett, she worked as a journalist for CNN International, and within the media team for a mental health charity. Contact Heenali: heenali.patel[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Beatrix Pitel, Campaigns Officer

Beatrix joined The Fawcett Society in October 2019, as our Campaigns Officer she supports Fawcett’s members to secure change for women and girls in their local area. Previously, she worked in public affairs and communications for SafeLives, a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, and worked to change the public and political narrative from ‘why doesn’t she leave’ to ‘why doesn’t he stop’. Outside of work and fighting for gender equality, Beatrix can often be found wearing blue and white stripes and singing with her community sea shanty choir.

Leyla Reynolds, Communications, Marketing and Events Assistant

Leyla joined Fawcett in July 2018, supporting across communications and events. Outside of Fawcett, she is a founding member and art director at gal-dem, a magazine produced by women and non binary people of colour. Since graduating in 2016 with a degree in Politics & International Relations her practice, visual and study-based, has concerned the intersection between visual representations and socio-political change. She is a fellow of the Arts Marketing Academy, 2017 Digital Marketing Academy. Contact Leyla at leyla.reynolds[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Community and Fundraising

Our Fundraising team is the first port-of-call for anyone looking to raise money for Fawcett, through challenge events, fundraisers, and events. We create donation appeals, and are always looking for new ways to fund our vital work. We also give support to our growing number of active local meet up groups, providing advice and practical tools for their activities and campaigns. 

This team also publicises the charity’s research and campaigns, and provides the media with information on all Fawcett’s work and views. We manage the website and social media channels, constantly looking at new ways to communicate our message and develops our external relationships. Get in touch at [email protected].

Hester Waterfield, Fundraising and Community Manager

Hester Waterfield, Fundraising and Community Manager (maternity leave)

Hester joined The Fawcett Society in February 2017, heading up the newly created Fundraising and Community team. She works alongside Heenali and Ben to grow and engage Fawcett Society membership, and to fundraise for and mobilise campaigns at a local and national level. Prior to joining the Fawcett Society, Hester worked in commercial law, followed by four years in political fundraising. Hester is most concerned with addressing male violence against women and in recognising and valuing caring responsibilities. In her spare time, Hester enjoys politics, running and recreational netball. Hester is currently on maternity leave.

Ben Gerrish, Fundraising and Community Campaigns Officer

Ben joined The Fawcett Society in February 2017 as Fundraising and Community Campaigns Officer, primarily working to grow Fawcett’s membership and diversify its fundraising channels. He also looks after all of Fawcett’s local groups, as well as supporters fundraising within their local communities or through sponsored challenge events. Prior to joining Fawcett, Ben was at Amnesty International UK for 6 years, having held a number of different roles within fundraising. He is currently studying for an MA in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity, and is most concerned with gender as a construction and the harmful political and social consequences this has on women. Ben’s a keen baker, a gaming enthusiast, and can lay down a mean funk bass line. Contact Ben at ben.gerrish[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.

Outreach

Our outreach team is currently developing an exciting programme to engage young women in schools, colleges and universities on our suffrage history and its relevance to our lives today. Watch this space as we continue to grow!

Doris Amankwaah, Fawcett Outreach Worker

Doris has been with Fawcett since spring 2015, starting out offering temporary administration support and now as part of our Fawcett outreach work to start working with younger people. She is working on developing a programme to work with schools and colleges, engaging younger people in feminist issues and the work that Fawcett does. In her spare time, Doris has launched her own business in health food products and she definitely knows Beyonce better than you do. Contact Doris at doris.amankwaah[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk

Finance and Administration

Our Finance and Administration team liaises with our supporters, shop customers, members and volunteers, answering queries and requests, and also ensures the smooth running of the office. For all queries, please email [email protected].

Nicola Hurley, Office Manager & PA to the Chief Executive

Nicola Hurley, HR & Office Manager

Nicola joined us in October in 2016 as our administrator to ensure the smooth running of the office. She currently works as Office Manager, and will also take on the role of PA to Fawcett’s Chief Executive from July 2017. Nicola has a background in business and psychology and lives to empower young women through mentoring and thrives on promoting emotional wellness. Passionate about gender equality and meticulous in her work ethic, Nicola is a perfect fit to the team.  In her spare time, Nicola enjoys aromatherapy and learning about complementary medicine. She has also launched her own business promoting organic skin and hair products. Contact Nicola at nicola.hurley[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk

Information and Systems

Our Information and Systems team keeps databases up to date and is the first point of call for any supporter query, request or idea. We also ensure the smooth running of a variety of events to inform and involve more people, or just to have fun with our members and supporters. Events can range from the Annual General Meeting, debates, fundraising activities, launches of research and publications, lectures and general networking occasions. If you have any enquiries related to a Fawcett event, please email [email protected]

Alex Sassmannshausen, Information and Systems Manager

Alex joined The Fawcett Society at the beginning of September 2017, to take over as the new Information and Systems Manager. Alex has a passion for free/libre open source software & data, only strengthened by his previous work with public, academic & specialist libraries. At The Fawcett Society, Alex now manages our contacts database, oversees systems architecture and implements interfaces between the different IT layers. Alex is a bit of a geek, being into LISP programming, role playing & improv theatre in his spare time. He strongly believes that all of these activities would be enhanced by more diversity: diverse crowds makes for more fun, broader perspectives & free choices. Contact Alex at alex.sassmannshausen[at]fawcettsociety.org.uk.  

Interested in being a part of our team? Click here to view current job openings, and opportunities to volunteer at our head offices in London.