Our Members

WOF is a movement focused on collaboration and kindness in the workplace, galvanising a community of women to work together as a new generation of talent across multiple sectors and industries. Learn more about the inspiring and high-achieving women who are part of our community.

Gillian Charlesworth
CEO, BRE Group
What is the best part of your job?
I have two favourites – the first is people. I’m very fortunate to have wonderful, dedicated and committed colleagues who really believe in what we’re doing to improve the built environment, making it safer and more sustainable. Secondly, I love a challenge and in this fast-paced changing world, there is always one in front of me.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself at the start of your career what would it be?
I would say always make sure you’re working in the right organisation, doing the right type of work and operating at the right level – the last one is crucial. If you are under-promoted and haven’t been given the right level of responsibility for your level of ambition, it’s just as stressful as being over-promoted and feeling out of your depth.
What is one act of kindness that you will remember forever?
When I was 12 my family moved to a new area and I had to join senior school in the second year. Everyone else in the class knew each other. I will never forget the kindness of the class teacher who welcomed me, made sure I wasn’t left out, encouraged me and went out of her way to give me confidence.
What is your favourite quote?
It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it that matters. Epictetus (Greek stoic philosopher)
If you could invite two people to dinner (dead or alive!) who would they be and why?
I would invite Emmeline Pankhurst to find out how we can reignite a sense of urgency on gender equality which sometimes seems to be going into reverse and despite over 100 years’ effort has not remotely been achieved.
Secondly, I would invite a very dear living friend and former colleague, Professor KT Ravindran, who is based in New Delhi and is the wisest, kindest, most quietly charismatic person I know.
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