Celebrating International Women’s Day – Humankind

Celebrating International Women’s Day

David Lupton

International Women’s Day 2021

#ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.

Humankind’s work towards equality

We believe that a strong organisation is diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability and ethnicity.

We invest in training, consult with communities and people who use our services and constantly review our creative approach to ensure diversity and equality is a part everything we do. However, we know that good intentions are not enough and that there’s always more work to be done.

Caroline Gitsham,  Trustee at Humankind said: “I am delighted to recognise and celebrate IWD 2021 #ChooseToChallenge. Our approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion continues to evolve and is at the heart of enabling a sustainable future for Humankind.”

Our current proportion of female employees is 72% and male employees 28%, having changed by 1% year on year since our first gender pay gap report in 2017. Our last gender pay gap in 2018 showed that our pay gap is 2.91% against the UK national average of 9.10%, and we continue to aim to achieve parity as soon as possible. The 5-year strategy for Humankind strives to address this within its organisational remuneration strategy and aspires to reduce the gap year on year.

We have many successful and inspiring women at Humankind and here are a few of their stories to celebrate International Women’s Day.


My journey to the S.T.A.R.S

During my long history of addiction and alcohol dependency people had often written me off, seeing the addict and not the human being that stood in front of them. However, the guys at South Tyneside Adult Recovery Services didn’t see the addict, they saw me for me, they helped me to believe in myself and realise the true potential I had.

I started off volunteering which strengthened not only my confidence but also my recovery and enabled me to land a job as a receptionist, before securing a role as a recovery worker.

Over the next few months I worked hard, not only at my job but also learning how to live as a single parent with three kids. Later I secured another role as the complex needs worker, moved to a fabulous new house and continued to grow into the strong, independent woman I am proud of today.

I have two daughters who were also recovering from my addictions and were deeply affected but as women we fought hard together and today one is busy completing a Masters in history and the other is pursuing her A levels.

My story is far from over. I am due to start a new job within the alcohol care team and working for the NHS has been a dream of mine for years, so, I guess I’m saying don’t give up on yourself no matter where you are in life keep trying and who knows it might just turn out exactly as you hoped.


Emma Cormack shares her experience of progressing at Stafforshire

My journey in the substance misuse sector began in 2014 when studying for a degree in Drug and Alcohol Counselling and Treatment. I found I had developed a great academic knowledge however required practical experience in order to really develop my understanding. I began volunteering in 2015 and was able to get first-hand experience at both facilitating group workshops and 1:1 Psychosocial Intervention Sessions.

Moving into paid employment, I facilitated an outreach project specifically working with clients who were presenting with dual diagnosis, then developed another project working with clients who were alcohol dependant and had a housing need. Both projects were extremely dynamic and gave me the opportunity to work with a large client group as well a really embedding the importance of multi-agency working.

I currently hold the position of Service Manager at Staffordshire Treatment and Recovery Service and I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have built a career in an area that I am extremely passionate about and to have a job which I continue to love every day.


Lesley shares her personal experience of battling alcohol addiction

Lesley said: “My battle with alcohol started in 2013 when my drinking spiraled out of control. Prior to this I had enjoyed drinking socially, and never thought I would ever become addicted to alcohol.

“I was really ill and during my battle with alcoholism I was hospitalised four times. This finally made me realise I had an alcohol problem and was my first step on the road to recovery. I was referred to South Tyneside Adult Recovery Service who put me on an alcohol reduction plan. With their support and guidance I reduced my alcohol intake until I no longer needed it. It was the toughest but best thing I have ever done.

 “I began volunteering at the service and absolutely loved it, then was offered a part-time job as a bank worker supporting people with their recovery. I’m living proof that no matter how long you have been relying on alcohol and how severe your problem actually is, it is possible to recover, beat alcoholism and succeed.”



In 2004 at the age of 24 I began my journey as an accounts assistant with Humankind. With a finance team of seven, annual turnover of £8.3m and total staff of 234, we were smaller organisation than now, that meant for a number of years I organised a Christmas party for the whole outfit!

I quickly progressed in the finance team, working as finance officer for a number of units until I was promoted to finance team leader. Once becoming team leader my passion for the team and ensuring we offered the best service evolved. On International Women’s Day I’d like to give a big shout out to my manager Camila Horner. Camila inspired and supported me, building my confidence to believe in myself, which allowed me to develop and progress to manager through to my current role of assistant director of finance.

I’ve seen many changes and challenges during my time with Humankind and it hasn’t always been easy, but I love my job and when I talk about Humankind I feel passionate and proud of the organisation, the work we do and the finance team.

Outside of Humankind my passions are keeping active and fit and my 12 year old son Christopher and cocker spaniel Angel keep me busy and on my toes!