Julie Bentley is a British voluntary sector leader and since 2012 has been the Chief Executive of Girlguiding.
Since she became Chief Executive of Girlguiding she has overseen a complete governance review, developed the organisation's first five year strategy, and changed their Promise so that members commit to ‘develop my beliefs’ rather than ‘love my God’. The organisation has also launched a series of badges to support girls in the modern world including one promoting body confidence and another teaching girls about mental wellbeing. The charity also launched the Girls Matter campaign in order to get people in power to listen to girls’ views.
"Everything we do helps make girls and young women more aware, more confident and gives them a voice" she said of the charity, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Since she started, this historic British institution and charity has enjoyed a revival with increased public understanding of their work to support girls and young women into adulthood.
Julie Bentley is a former chief executive of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the Family Planning Association. She was also Director of Corporate Services for ARP (Alcohol Recovery Project) and Assistant Director of Charterhouse – in Southwark. Her early jobs included being a postwoman and a youth worker in South London.
Julie was previously a Trustee and Vice Chair of the housing and homelessness charity Shelter and was formerly a trustee of young people’s helpline Get Connected (now The Mix). During her tenure at FPA she was part of the government independent advisory groups for teenage pregnancy and sexual health.
In 2009 Julie and her partner cycled from Lands’ End to John O Groats to raise funds for the Family Planning Association and Seham Village Appeal a charity Julie is patron of.
In an interview with Empowering Women, Bentley explained, “I have deliberately committed my career to the charity sector as it’s where I believe real change can happen. It’s also a fantastic environment for developing potential.”
In 2014 she was named Third Sector’s Most Admired Chief Executive at the Third Sector Awards and was included in the top ten of the Britain's most influential women in the BBC Woman's Hour Power List.
Also in 2014 Julie was a castaway on Desert Island Discs.