cover art for Unmasking Gendered Poverty - Teaser

Unmasking Gendered Poverty

Unmasking Gendered Poverty - Teaser

Season 1

Brought to you by Smallwood Trust, a charity whose mission is to enable women to be more financially resilient, this podcast is an exploration through conversation on the complex issues of gendered poverty as well as an opportunity to share the valuable insights we are gaining on our journey.

This podcast is presented by Rutendo Ngwena who is the Programme Manager of the Shifting Power & Gendered Poverty Learning Programme which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and managed by Smallwood Trust.

We hope this podcast will be a source of education, inspiration and empowerment.

To find out more about Smallwood Trust visit:

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  • 7. Yasmin Khan

    In this final episode of our pilot season, we are joined by Yasmin Khan, Welsh Government National Advisor - for Violence against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, London Fire & Rescue service Culture review-Independent Panel member and Founder / Chief Officer of Halo Project - National Charity for Forced Marriages, HBV and FGMYasmin helps us to explore how Violence Against Women and Girls fuels Gendered Poverty. As a strategic leader and partnership builder she is Founder and Chief Officer- Halo Project Charity National Charity -Award winning National Charity and held a plethora of senior advisory roles and proactively highlights service gaps, identifies potential improvements and opportunities with respect to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Also serving in the recent review (2022) of London Fire & Rescue service review into culture as an Independent Panel member.Yasmin has secured the role of a Government Advisor in Wales, she provides expertise on how most effectively to implement the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act. Her work includes working with victims, survivors, and stakeholders to shape and inform improvements in the way services are planned, commissioned and delivered. She has instigated a HMICFRS investigation within England Wales into policing to highlight key recommendations into investigations for BME communities experiencing sexual violence through the Police Super complaints procedure.Yasmin has worked with communities and particularly women in addressing inequalities in the field of employment, education, and training. Establishing a Strategic Community Partnership to provide support for Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence Victims in the North East of England, Yasmin has established a pioneering programme of work across the Tees Valley This has resulted in developing the first Forced Marriage/HBV case scrutiny group across the UK. Halo Project is one of Smallwood’s Community Grant Partner’s. You can learn more about Halo Project here: Website: Smallwood Trust feature: Useful Resources: Transforming policing for the BAME community How the police respond to victims of sexual abuse when the victim is from an ethnic minority background and may be at risk of honour-based abuse.Smallwood Community Grant Partner Programme: 
  • 6. Dr Ambreen Shah and Shana Begum

    In this Episode, we are joined by Dr Ambreen Shah, a non-executive director at Smallwood Trust and Shana Begum who is a former Smallwood Trust Board shadowee. Our guests will be helping us to explore shifting power and governance through reflecting over the Smallwood Board Shadowing Programme. Here is a little more about our guests: Ambreen was born in England and has lived here all her life, she is second generation Pakistani and is a mum of 2 girls. Ambreen has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years, funding and supporting charities to achieve maximum impact for their beneficiaries.  She brings knowledge of policy, communications, grant funding and social/evaluative research and extensive experience of working with senior stakeholders and strategy development. She is passionate about social and racial justice. Ambreen is a non-executive director at Smallwood Trust and Charity Bank championing their work on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She sits on the advisory group of Migration Exchange. She is also an Associate of Getting on Board which supports greater diversity of people in the charity governance space and is currently championing a shadowing programme which aims to shift power to people with lived experience.Shana Begum is a former Smallwood Trust board shadowee, a survivor of domestic abuse with a proven track record of making a significant impact in the field of domestic abuse prevention and support. As the Founding Director of St Helens the best me CIC and a pioneer trustee for Safelives, Shana has been instrumental in transforming board cultures to promote lived experience and create a supportive environment for survivors of domestic abuse. Shana's dedication to ending violence against women and girls is evident in her involvement in various initiatives, including supporting over 300 survivors and their families, initiating free DA training in India and Nigeria, and serving as the First domestic abuse prevention officer in St Helens council. Her contributions have extended globally through collaborations with Safe and together institute and nationally with organisations such as government departments like the MoD -defence safety authority and the domestic abuse commissioners office. In addition to her professional achievements, Shana has demonstrated a commitment to education and community service by dedicating 4 years as a governor for two schools in St Helens and actively participating in equality and diversity groups locally and regionally. As a Trustee of the national charity Safelives and the Chair of the BAME group locally, Shana continues to be a driving force in advocating for change and promoting inclusivity in all aspects of society. Links: Smallwood Trust: Reflecting on our board shadowing experience: Smallwood Trust introduces to our inaugural board shadowing cohort: programme: Currie and her work ( As mentioned by Ambreen in the podcast) - Join the confidence revolution. (
  • 5. Poornima Kirloskar-Saini and Sam Everard

    In this episode, we are joined by Poornima Kirloskar-Saini (Founder and CEO of Kundakala) and Sam Everard (Chief Executive Officer- SAMEE). Our guests will be helping us explore entrepreneurship as a route out of gendered poverty. Kundakala's mission is to help women from under-recognised communities become more confident and financially independent through programmes that provide tailoring skills and business enterprise support. Poornima, the founder, moved to the UK from Mumbai, India about 20 years ago and has worked in the field of women empowerment ever since. She started my career with the award-winning social enterprise Women Like Us, providing career guidance and recruitment to women who had taken a career break after their children. Sam Everard of SAMEE is a dedicated entrepreneur with a flair for reaching out to vulnerable people in the community and helping them explore self-employment. A dynamic and SFEDI Level 7 qualified business start-up advisor with over 20 years experience of providing information, mentoring and guidance for sole traders and SMEs. Sam is the Chair of the South West Regional Stakeholder Network for the Disability Unit in Cabinet Office and studying towards a PhD at Bournemouth University. Both of these roles allow her to engage with disabled people on a deep level which informs the development of best practice for the disabled community. Kundakala and SAMEE are both part of our Community Grant Partner Programme. Useful links from this episode: About the SAMEE charity: SAMEE Charity - Work with disabled people on self-employmentClair's website (mentioned in the episode) Home | lavish4me-blended essential oils-natural solutions-mind-body-spiritAbout Kundakala: Support Kundakala’s Graduates through buying their products: Smallwood Community Grant Partner programme: Smallwood’s wider work around disability through the Routes to Power and influence: listening!
  • 4. Rebecca Gill - Rosa

    Smallwood is delighted to welcome you to the fourth episode of Unmasking Gendered Poverty, hosted by Rutendo Ngwena. Each episode of this podcast will shed light on the complexities of gendered poverty and share insights gained from our 136 years of experience supporting women facing financial insecurity.In this episode, we are joined by Rebecca Gill, Chief Executive Officer of Rosa.Rebecca joins us to discuss funding the Women’s sector and voices on the frontline. Rebecca is a proud feminist and is extremely passionate about women’s and girls’ rights which she has championed in jobs in the charity sector as well as in the trade unions, in national and local government over the last twenty-five years. Outside of work Rebecca is a reluctant but persistent runner and she is currently training for her 10th Half Marathon. Rebecca is a born and bred Londoner and lives in northeast London with her partner Matt and their two sons, who are 12 and 14. You can listen to Episode 4 on Spotify, Acast, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or on our website.As funders in the women’s sector, Rosa and Smallwood worked together on the Women Thrive Fund. The fund was a £1.9m fund delivered as a partnership between Rosa and Smallwood Trust, with funding from the Government’s Tampon Tax Fund. The fund was set up to respond to reports from women’s and girls’ organisations that declining mental health, increased risk of emotional trauma and increased poverty levels are their biggest concerns for women and girls across the UK.The fund was launched in February 2021 and awarded grants to 70 women and girls’ organisations in August 2021.You can learn more about the impact of the Women’s Thrive Fund here: You can also learn about Smallwood Trust’s Policy and Systems Change initiatives here: If you’d like to share your responses to this episode, you can continue the conversation with Rutendo at
  • 3. Holly Chapman - B-Radical

    In this episode, we are joined by Holly Chapman- Co-Founder and Director of Recruitment and Employer Branding at B-Radical.In addition to her official role, Holly also helps to run the organisation’s sister charity, Radical Recruit which supports people furthest from the labour market into meaningful and sustainable income so that they can build better futures for themselves and their families.As a single Mum to two boys and a young widow, having lost her husband to suicide in 2022, Holly uses her platform to speak about her own experiences and how organisations can build working environments that are more welcoming and accessible for those with parental and/or caring responsibilities, as well as the importance of compassionate and trauma-informed leadership.Smallwood Trust has worked with Radical Recruit as a recruitment partner and in this episode, we discuss disadvantages women face in the labour market with Holly sharing her expertise from supporting women in recruitment. Additional resources:Women, Employment and Earnings (Women’s Budget Group): final-employment-2020.pdf ( can learn more about B-Radical on: Case study: listening!
  • 2. Kezia Jackson-Harman and Faye Pettitt

    In this episode, we are joined by Kezia Jackson-Harman (Senior Project Manager - Renaisi) and Faye Pettitt (Coventry Women’s Partnership Manager). Our guests will be helping us explore how to tackle gendered poverty at local level through place-based change models.Renaisi has been Smallwood Trust’s learning partner in our place-based work for more than a year now, and Coventry Women’s Partnerships is the first place-based network which Smallwood funded six years ago. Kezia will be sharing insights gained as our learning partner in our place-based work, whilst Faye shares what their partnership has learnt in implementing this approach in their work.Here is a little bit about them:Kezia is Renaisi’s Senior Project Manager in Place and systemic change. Her work across Renaisi’s portfolio of place-based and systems change projects includes facilitating local partner networks, managing, and delivering place-based research projects, and supporting the adoption of place-based and systemic change approaches within Renaisi. This includes acting as a learning partner to support, advise and build the learning capacity of six place-based networks targeting systemic change in women's poverty and youth unemployment, in programmes funded by Smallwood Trust and Youth Futures Foundation respectively.Faye Pettitt has worked within third sector organisations for the majority of her career, initially within young people’s organisations as a JNC qualified Youth and Community Worker. Over the lastsix years Faye has managed Coventry Women’s Partnership. Faye has worked strategically within her role as partnership manager at FWT - a centre for women, and with project partners CRASAC, Coventry Haven Women’s Aid, Central England Law Centre Coventry and Kairos Women Working Together, to establish Coventry Women’s Partnership from the vision and implementation of the project pilot, into a successful working model for women across the city.You can find all released podcast episodes, and further reading materials on our ‘Learning Journey’ page, a dedicated platform for sharing what we have learnt in our efforts to tackle gendered poverty alongside our partners on the frontline.Happy listening!
  • 1. Mary-Ann Stephenson - Women's Budget Group

    In this episode, we are joined by Mary-Ann Stephenson - Director of the Women's Budget Group.Mary-Ann has been active in the Women’s Budget Group for over twenty years and was appointed as its first Director in 2017. Prior to this role, she was a freelance consultant specialising in women’s equality and human rights and has been Director of the Fawcett Society and a Commissioner on the Women’s National Commission. She is a trustee of Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and of Just Fair. She has a PhD in Law from the University of Warwick.Mary-Ann brings her wealth of experience to help us to explore what it takes to have a gender equal economy. You can learn more abut the Women's Budget Group here: Womens Budget Group ( links from this episode: Women's Budget Group Commision on Creating A Caring Economy here: WBG-Report-v10.pdfWomen's Budget Group response to the Autumn Statement 2023: WBG full response to Autumn Statement 2023 - Womens Budget GroupHappy listening!