About Us

Gender Friendly Scotland was created by Barbara Adzajlic and Susie Heywood as a vehicle for promoting positive messages and good practice around gender stereotyping in the early years and beyond.

We are deeply committed to promoting approaches which we believe can help to bring about the culture change that is required if we are to tackle gender inequality and the range of negative public health outcomes that it drives.

We believe that a “whole setting approach” to gender stereotyping which aims to ensure that nobody is in any way limited because of their gender and which provides a counter balance to the messages we receive from the world around us, can help to compensate for the many messages that society sends to us about what is expected of us. 

We are happy to discuss any opportunities for collaboration in activities and initiatives which will help us to further our aim: that nobody should be limited in any way by the harmful gender stereotypes which we find in the world around us.

We are so excited that the book which outlines our approach, which we have been working on over the last couple of years will soon be published. “Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years: Changing the Narrative” will be available from 14th September 2022 and will be a must read for early years practitioners looking to improve their practice in this important area.

Please do get in touch!

Who are we?

Barbara Adzajlic MA

Barbara is a highly experienced public health professional committed to reducing health inequalities and to developing ‘upstream’, preventative approaches, particularly in the area of gender equality as a root cause of a range of public health issues including men’s poorer mental health, LGBT health and wellbeing, and gender based violence. Her experience includes aspects of mental health, poverty, nutrition and gender equality with a focus on the prevention of gender based violence.  She has experience in the design and delivery of programmes and training, has carried out research, published evaluation reports and presented information to a wide range of audiences. Together with Susie, Barbara created and delivered the highly regarded Gender Friendly Nursery programme on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Susie Heywood MPH BD

Susie has a wide range of interests, but is driven by social justice and a desire for fairness and equality.  As a public health professional she advocates for preventative approaches to a variety of social determinants of health, including poverty, mental health, suicide prevention, income inequality, isolation and social connectedness.  For the last 4 years she has committed herself to a programme of work aimed at reducing gender inequality via a public health “upstream” approach.  She is passionate, committed and driven.  She has experience in project management and evaluation, resource development, group facilitation and training development and delivery and particularly enjoys sharing aspects of her work with a variety of audiences. Susie co-created the Gender Friendly Nursery project on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

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