International Women’s Day 2024: Charmaine Vincent

Charmaine Vincent is an award-winning female entrepreneur, CEO, business owner and coach.

With 25 year’s professional experience, Charmaine has achieved some incredible career milestones. Some of which include winning 11 leadership awards, such as Business Woman of the Year at the 2023 National Business Women’s Awards, and completing an MBO and taking 100% ownership of her business.

A confident businesswoman with a caring ethos and strong moral compass, Charmaine is the CEO and owner of Baltimore Consulting; a public sector recruitment company that supports local authorities’ requirements within vulnerable subject areas such as mental health, SEN, adults and children’s safeguarding.

Baltimore Consulting is a business with big intentions and an even bigger heart; every placement made changes lives. Charmaine created a business that achieves year on year growth through investment of people, giving back to the community and not cutting corners.

Charmaine is super passionate about making a difference and being a positive role model for her daughter.

Throughout her career, Charmaine hasn’t been afraid of showing vulnerability, to which, she believes has contributed to both her personal and professional growth. A development advocate, she continues to invest heavily in herself and her staff by empowering them to become the best version of themselves.

  1. How did you get to where you are today in business?

The successful female entrepreneur and business owner that I am today, is a result of a young girl that dared to dream and took action to turn her dreams into reality.

There are so many unconventional chapters that have played a part in my success story, and I’m proud to say that despite encountering adversity and challenges in abundance, at no point did my self-belief waiver.

By acknowledging my inherent need, not want, to make a difference to other people’s lives, defined my career. I stopped apologising for being different, for caring about others, for leading with my heart and this is when I truly flourished in business.

Whilst being told you’re not strong enough, cutthroat enough or capable enough to run a recruitment business as a woman in what is a male dominated industry was naturally hard to hear, the truth is, I now believe it was ultimately a blessing in disguise.

I’m a passionate, hard-working woman, and my true purpose in life is to be a role model for my daughter. It’s my duty to help her break down the barriers and live a life whereby she knows that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

I’ve learnt over the years that comparison is the thief of all joy, and looking within and doing what makes your heart sing in business and life, will ultimately yield the results.

Fast forward 11 years, and I stand proud to have built a successful business with a strong moral compass, that is genuinely values led and continues to give back to the community.

  1. When did you first notice gender disparity and when do you think your first experience of inequity was?

I first noticed gender disparity when I started working in the recruitment industry. I’m passionate about our industry and proud of the great work that so many of us do, but my experience of working for male business owners and male leaders meant that inequity became “the norm” and I found myself having to shout louder to have my voice heard.

I witnessed management promotions largely being given to men, and a real boys club mentality forming, which ultimately alienated women and knocked their confidence. As an employee I felt hugely disappointed with the lack of coaching and opportunity to progress as a female.

My experience was sadly filled with inequality and disrespect. It became clear it wasn’t about what you know and how hard you work that facilitated progression, it was who you know and how much you socialised out of hours.

My overwhelming desire to set up a company of my own that addressed these disparities became stronger and in 2013, Baltimore Consulting was born.

I wouldn’t change my chapters as I recognise that they are contributing factors that have shaped who I am today. I now choose to help benchmark what good looks like by creating, recruiting, and retaining a gender-balanced workforce.

I want to help accelerate the pace of change that will benefit women, allowing us to live in a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

That helps me sleep at night!

  1. What advice do you wish you could give your younger self?

I would let my younger self know that our experiences don’t define us, our actions do.

I spent so many years living with shame around my lack of education and believing that I wasn’t good enough. A strong alpha male would always intimidate me, and I found it hard to offer the self-love I needed and truly deserved.

Owning our stories, with all its chapters, and removing any shame we sadly attach to them, is essential and so liberating.

I now know that I am enough.

My actions genuinely make a difference to people’s lives. My business has supported vulnerable subject areas within the public sector for 11 years. Being a charity ambassador and passionate fundraiser, literally save lives. My community contribution has provided children in need with a safe space and my ability to remove judgement and offer kindness to others, makes a difference every single day. That’s what counts and whilst I wouldn’t change a thing, I wish I knew this sooner.

Chasing feelings, not numbers, is where I found fulfilment.

  1. What has been your greatest achievement in business?

Instructing an MBO in 2018 and retaining 100% ownership of my company was naturally a career highlight for me and a chapter that genuinely changed my life.

However, I’d say my greatest achievement is creating a business with a strong moral compass, that is values led, people focused, gives back to the community, and is committed to creating and maintaining an equitable, and inclusive culture.

Our actions aren’t for show, they’re real, they’re from the heart and mean everything to me. I’m committed to helping our people achieve their goals. I’m super passionate about supporting new parents and working parents find a working pattern that enables them to flourish professionally, without compromising on their family.

I provide all staff with a platform for growth and progression and love watching them go on the journey of self-discovery and self-belief.

Our business is different, it’s unique, and I honestly couldn’t be prouder.

  1. How can we inspire a younger generation of girls and young women to break through the glass ceiling?

To inspire the younger generation of girls and young women to break through the glass ceiling, we must show up authentically and own our stories. For far too many years now, women have believed that showing any form of emotion or vulnerability in the workplace is a weakness and would ultimately hinder their chance of progression. The reality is, vulnerability is 100% a superpower, and it’s how we can add value and gift others permission to be themselves and remove the mask. It’s not about fitting in; it’s about knowing your worth and the value that you bring.

“Role models” play an essential part in our ability to inspire girls and young women to pursue careers. When we see other women breaking the ceiling and achieving success, we’re more likely to believe we can do it too. It shouldn’t be so hard to seek out inspiring women. We’re here, we just need to speak up and show up more with the support of men. If we did, we could genuinely help break the stereotypes that have held women back and actively encourage them to pursue their dreams.

Employers need to be promoting gender equality and supporting work-life balance. By creating, recruiting, and retaining a gender-balanced workforce, you are helping accelerate the pace of change for women of today and that younger generation of girls.

I look at my daughter and know, there is no glass ceiling for her, just big dreams and a bucket load of self-belief and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.


Lauren Cox

Head of Marketing