Fawcett Society announces new chief executive

Jemima Olchawski rejoins the charity after three years leading the women's and girls' organisation Agenda

Jemima Olchawski
Jemima Olchawski

The Fawcett Society has appointed Jemima Olchawski as its next chief executive.

Olchawski, who is chief executive of the women's and girls' charity Agenda, spent three years as head of policy and insight at the Fawcett Society before joining Agenda in 2018.

She will succeed Felicia Willow, who has been interim chief executive of the gender equality charity since November, following the departure of Sam Smethers after five years in the role.

Willow was tasked with exploring a possible merger with the Young Women’s Trust, which did not go ahead.

Before initially joining the Fawcett Society, Olchawski held roles with the London Borough of Newham and the socialist membership body the Fabian Society.

She said she “could not be more excited” to be returning to the Fawcett Society.

“The past 18 months have been an incredibly challenging time for women and have made absolutely clear that when things get tough it is still women, and in particular women from marginalised groups, who bear the brunt – from poor mental health and the risk of redundancy to horrifying levels of violence against women and girls,” she said.

“But we've also seen the power of women coming together and raising their voices.”

Fiona Mactaggart, chair of the Fawcett Society, said: “Jemima knows Fawcett well and her recent experience leading Agenda, the organisation for women and girls facing multiple disadvantage, will be a great asset to Fawcett and will ensure our work is even more relevant to the most excluded women.”

Olchawski will take up her new role in mid-November.

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