Women in leadership at VSS
At VSS, our work is all about putting victims and witnesses first. This International Women’s Day we are celebrating the women throughout VSS who rise to the challenge and help us to fulfil our mission.
We have several women in leadership positions throughout VSS, most notably our Chief Executive Kate Wallace and Chief Operating Officer Sue Freeth.
Kate said: “I enjoy my role at VSS immensely, I feel I have finally found something that has enough variety to keep me occupied and where I can focus on making a real difference for people who deserve better from the system, from organisations within it and from society as a whole.
“Women and girls are some of the most marginalised people in Scotland just now and I am especially interested in ensuring people in the most need of help, who often miss out, get the recognition and support they need. Intersectional communities and equalities groups are therefore high on my agenda.
“What this means for us at Victim Support Scotland is a need to focus on people who perhaps don’t feel they deserve support or who don’t even recognize that they are victims of crime. People who don’t know where to turn and who are told either directly, or indirectly, that they don’t matter to society. It’s those people that drive me to do my best every day and I am determined to keep working within Victim Support Scotland to help the organisation continually challenge itself and others to do more.
“I have pretty much always worked in the area of social justice. I started my career working in an organisation supporting young people who were sleeping rough and mostly using heroin, from there I moved to other youth work roles. When I moved on from direct support work, I led policy and research teams, eventually working with a large UK children’s charity aiming to achieve societal change for larger groups of people.
“Coming back to Scotland has shown me that there is a lot of hope, that much is possible if women come together to help each other, either individually or structurally. I will always do a hands-on role. I need to feel connected to communities to feel energised. In my spare time I volunteer as a delivery driver for a charity that delivers food parcels to people in need.”
Women and girls are some of the most marginalised people in Scotland and I am especially interested in ensuring people in the most need of help, who often miss out, get the recognition and support they need.
Sue said: “VSS is a very inspiring place to work. Every day I work alongside volunteers and VSS workers to recognise, acknowledge and support victims and witnesses. Women and children unfortunately make up the majority of vulnerable victims and witnesses in Scotland.
“I was the first woman in my family to have the opportunity to study and follow a career and choose to work advancing better social care and fairer justice.
“Over my forty year career in the third sector I have had the privilege to meet a diverse range of courageous women struggling to create a better life for themselves, their children and others. My role has involved changing policy and improving practice for disabled people, the armed forces community, older people and people with mental health.
“My inspiration has been my own mother Joan – who died last summer aged 93. Joan had a strong sense of social justice, an environmental conscience long before it was fashionable and had a fierce intellectual curiosity which she held until her last days. I am proud to continue her mission for equality.”
We have a number of vacancies that are now live on our website. To find out more, click here.