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Location: Greater Manchester
Date: July 23, 2021
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Smart Works Greater Manchester is delighted to welcome Elsa Zekeng to our Board of Trustees. Elsa finished her PhD in Infectious Diseases and Global Health from the University of Liverpool during which she received the “Queen’s Ebola Medal for Service in West Africa” after deploying with the WHO during the biggest Ebola outbreak in West Africa. She is a European Commission Young Leader 2016 championing Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good health and wellbeing.

She advocates on all things: youth empowerment, equal employment opportunities and equality, diversity and Inclusion. She has also be recognised as one of the “Top 50 most inspiring, prominent & influential black voices in UK Tech” by Technation and nominated “One to Watch” by the Northern Power Women. In 2020, she was appointed as one of the youngest independent council members at the University of Salford, Manchester.

Elsa commented:

“The power of gaining employment goes beyond the direct benefits (financial) but also plays a role in self confidence, and provides the ability to independently make decisions about one’s life. This really has the power to change or save someone’s life. The service Smart Works provides for women can be a life line or a step towards empowering or enhancing one’s life. This is something I am absolutely passionate about therefore I wholeheartedly support the work the charity does. My hope is that by joining the team, I’ll be able to join forces with the board, create strategic partnerships and ensure that more women from all ages and backgrounds are aware of these services and make use of them.”

Jan Iceton, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Greater Manchester commented:

“I am thrilled that Elsa has decided to join Smart Works Greater Manchester (SWGM) at such a key moment in our 6-year history having reopened our doors after multiple Covid lockdown rules and travel restrictions. With her excellent academic connections, she will shine a very bright light on the wonderful and highly effective support we can provide to socially disadvantaged, unemployed young women leaving school, college and university across Greater Manchester. She also has a deep understanding of the barriers faced by unemployed women trying to get a foothold in the job market, particularly those from ethnic minority backgrounds, which in part led her to become one of the Founding members of Jobseekers which she joined in early 2018. Elsa brings a unique insight of the women we hope to reach and the community we hope to build and, as a Board, we very much look forward to becoming bigger and better with her direct and active participation”.

From all of us at Smart Works Greater Manchester, we would like to welcome Elsa and wish her all the best for the busy and exciting time to come.