8 March 2017

Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of ERSA #IWD2017

Kirsty McHugh became Chief Executive of The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the representative body of the UK employment support sector, in 2010. Currently, more than 75% of ERSA’s 250 members, which includes multinational organisations and specialist charities, are not for profit. Each of these members provides employment support to jobseekers to help them secure sustainable employment. 

Before heading ERSA, Kirsty spent nine years at Business in the Community, a national charity devoted to responsible business practice. In her role as Director for Regeneration at BITC, Kirsty led national delivery programmes including a network of 100 local groups.

She also served as a councillor for 12 years where she variously held portfolios for housing, regeneration and crime prevention. She has served as a director of a large social housing organisation and chaired the board of a Private Finance Initiative programme which invested more than £200 million. Kirsty currently sits on a Big Lottery Fund panel investing in employment and skills programmes in the most deprived communities and works with a social finance organisation to invest in youth education and employment initiatives. 

Kirsty has been a driving force in bringing issues of disability in the workplace to the forefront of the employment sector. She has consistently encouraged charities and organisations from both the public and private spheres to take notice of these issues so that efforts can be made to tackle the disability employment gap.