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Ashgate Hospice > International Women’s Day: ‘Seeing female colleagues excel at Ashgate Hospice inspires me’ – by Cat Maddy

For International Women’s Day, which takes place on Friday 8th March this year, we would once again like to pay tribute to the incredible role women have had and continue to have in shaping Ashgate Hospice.  

To mark the event on this occasion, we caught up with some women at the hospice to hear how they inspire inclusion, not only in their roles at the hospice but also in their lives in general, as well as which women they find inspiring.  

Our Head of Marketing and Communications, Cat Maddy, is passionate about inclusivity. She says it isn’t just a “buzzword” for her – it’s the core of everything she does. 

What is your job role, what does it entail and what do you love about working at the hospice? 

As the Head of Marketing and Communications at Ashgate Hospice, I oversee both our external and internal communications. This includes everything from the website and social media to the Weekly Bulletin and our press coverage. 

The thing I love most about working at the hospice is the variation in my work. It sounds like a cliche but no two days are ever the same. One day, I may be collaborating with our Inpatient Unit to capture images for our promotional materials, and the next, I might be livestreaming events such as our Sparkle Night Walk on Facebook. Not only that, I have the privilege of connecting with our patients and their families, helping to share their stories and experiences of the profound difference Ashgate has made to their lives. 

Cat has regularly represented the hospice at Pride events since joining the organisation

What makes you proud to be a woman working for Ashgate Hospice? 

I’m really proud to be part of a team where women take the lead, making up a staggering 75% of our workforce. Witnessing women excel across diverse roles and positions within our organisation is truly inspiring. Whether they’re leading teams, shaping our strategies, or bringing fresh ideas to the table, women are driving our success, and we’re always cheering each other on. 

What’s equally important to me is being in a workplace where women aren’t just there, they’re valued and supported every step of the way. At Ashgate, we’ve got some fantastic family-friendly policies that give everyone the flexibility they need to juggle work and life. Plus, our dedicated menopause strategy shows that we’re tuned in to the unique support women might need during that time. 

And when it comes to fair pay, we’re all about transparency. Our gender pay gap reporting means we’re making sure that everyone gets paid what they deserve, no matter their gender. It’s all part of creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.  

What does inclusion mean to you and what have you been doing to promote inclusivity in your work? 

Inclusion isn’t just a buzzword for me—it’s at the core of everything I do, both personally and professionally. I firmly believe that everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and respect, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or socioeconomic status. 

As a communications professional, I see it as my responsibility to ensure that every voice is heard and represented in the messages we create and the platforms we use. That means actively seeking out diverse perspectives, challenging stereotypes, and championing inclusivity in our content. 

But inclusion goes beyond mere representation; it’s about ensuring equitable access to our services, shops, and events. From ensuring our internal and external communications incorporate plain English principles to offering the option to request alternative language translations on our information leaflet – our Marketing and Communications team is taking concrete steps to make our materials more accessible to all.  

Inclusion isn’t just a goal—it’s a commitment. And I’m proud to be helping Ashgate to create a welcoming and accessible environment where everyone feels valued and respected. 

Cat is proud to lead the Marketing and Communications team at the hospice

Why do you think it’s important to promote inclusivity?  

For me, promoting inclusivity isn’t just a professional duty—it’s a personal commitment that I take to heart. In my role at Ashgate, I see it as my mission to ensure that inclusivity is woven into every aspect of our work, from the messages we share to the experiences we create. I believe that everyone should have the freedom to make informed choices about the care they receive, where they shop, and how they support us. That means presenting information in a way that’s accessible and meaningful to each individual, regardless of their background or abilities. 

It’s about more than just words on a page or pixels on a screen. I want everyone who interacts with Ashgate – whether they’re staff, volunteers, patients, or families – to see themselves reflected in our imagery, our stories, and our videos. I want them to feel a sense of belonging and connection, knowing that they are valued and respected. 

Promoting inclusivity isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also essential for creating a safe and supportive environment where everyone can bring their authentic selves to work. This not only benefits those who work or volunteer here, but also enhances the experience of those receiving our care. Ultimately, it’s a way for all of us to look after our wellbeing and ensure that Ashgate remains a place where everyone feels welcome and supported. 

What women inspire you most and why?  

There are so many incredible women who inspire me every day, each for their own unique reasons. Take Zarah Sultana, for example – the MP for Coventry South – who fearlessly uses her platform to address critical issues like Islamophobia, violence against women, and the impacts of war.  

Then there’s Joeli Brearley, the powerhouse behind Pregnant Then Screwed—a charity dedicated to advocating for the rights of pregnant women and mothers in the workplace. Joeli’s journey began when she was unfairly dismissed while pregnant, sparking her determination to fight for justice. Through her tireless efforts, she’s provided invaluable legal advice, secured millions in settlements, and held the government accountable on issues like childcare, flexible working, and parental leave. 

And of course, we can’t overlook Taylor Swift, whose influence extends far beyond the realm of music. Whether she’s championing LGBTQ+ rights, speaking out against racial injustice, or challenging societal norms around body image, Taylor’s commitment to social change is undeniable.  

In a world where female voices are often silenced or overlooked, these women serve to remind us of the power we have to effect change, inspiring us to lift each other up and strive for a more inclusive and fair society.