Inspirational Woman: Anne Gibson | Chief Executive Officer, Make Seconds Count

Anne GibsonAnne has a professional background in education and community learning and development, working in leadership roles across local and national government, the third sector and the independent care and education sector.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director of NHS24 and sits on the Boards of Youth Scotland, Harmeny Education Trust and the Scran Academy. She is a member of the Education Panel of the General Teaching Council for Scotland and is a lay member on the Joint Standing Committee for Legal Education in Scotland.

As an HM Inspector of Education, Anne had a lead role for inclusion and developing the young workforce nationally.  Anne has contributed to several ministerial working groups and has led national government initiatives including the development of schools and youth work partnerships.  Anne’s skills and expertise lie in organisational development and continuous improvement, quality assurance, building leadership and management capacity, professional learning and development, community engagement and participation, and developing partnerships. During her time as a  HMI, Anne was involved in the development of a number of self- evaluation frameworks including ‘How Good is Our Third Sector organisation?’ Anne has also worked in partnership with the Care Inspectorate in conducting services to protect children and children’s services inspections and with Audit Scotland in conducting reviews of community planning partnerships.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Hi there. I have a professional background in teaching and community learning and development. During my career, I have worked across the public, third and private sectors. I was an HM Inspector of Education for 14 years and during that time, led a Scottish Government initiative to build partnerships between schools and youth work providers. I was CEO for a Care and Education provider and then became a consultant two years ago. I joined Make Seconds Count as their interim CEO in November last year.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career? 

I always wanted to be a teacher from the age of 5 but my career took a different pathway. I have been very lucky to have gained experience across the sectors and had the opportunity to lead and manage a number of programmes and organisations.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I smiled so the answer must be yes! Then life is about embracing challenges and trying to find solutions / make things better. I would definitely suffer from boredom if I didn’t experience challenges.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I was a lead inspector for inclusion and felt that I made a difference to young people who faced challenges in their lives. I have a huge commitment to promoting inclusion and equality and feel that I have made a difference.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?  

I think I have an ability to challenge in constructive and positive ways and to take people with me.

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How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee? 

Yes – I have acted as a mentor for a number of people and I am currently mentoring a senior manager for education.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Increase the number of women in leadership and management positions in professions that still struggle with gender equality – the legal profession being one of these.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Believe in yourself.  I definitely encountered a lot of self-doubt in the early stages of my career

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My main driver has always been to improve lives and I am pleased to have the opportunity to take Make Seconds Count to the next stage in its development as interim CEO. The charity is making such a difference to improving the lives of those living with secondary breast cancer. We need to ensure that there is equal access to the services provided regardless of background, ethnicity etc.

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