Deborah Annetts, who joined the charity in August, has told senior staff that she aims to turn around the organisation. A source told Third Sector that staff were nervous about the prospect of wholesale change.
In an internal newsletter, Annetts said the organisation, which helps disadvantaged young women, needed to become "less cautious and more enterprising and confident". She also talked about reducing bureaucracy and increasing the effectiveness of the organisation.
A YWCA spokeswoman said: "The arrival of Deborah Annetts as chief executive provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of YWCA and to start to build for the future through conversations with staff."