About us

Inner Wings is a charitable foundation based in London, UK. Co-founded by Melissa Di Donato Roos and Darren Roos, Inner Wings' mission is to build confidence in children aged 6 to 12, especially girls. We believe that equipping children with a confidence toolkit - through our range of school programmes, events and children's books - will help them to discover their unlimited potential and pursue their dreams, whatever they may be. This is more critical than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen children's mental health significantly impacted by lockdowns, and increased anxiety a prevalent issue.

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Melissa Di Donato Roos

Mum, Mentor, CEO, Advocate

Melissa Di Donato Roos is an acclaimed American-born British business and technology leader and the first female CEO of SUSE, the world’s largest open source software company. Throughout her 25+ year career, she has worked passionately to make the world of technology a better place for everyone, but in particular a place women want to be part of. Named one of the Top 10 most influential women in U.K. Technology, she also serves as Technology Group Chair of the 30% Club – an organisation with the goal of achieving 30 percent female directors on S&P 100 boards by 2023.

Melissa is also the author of a series of children’s books designed to motivate and inspire young girls to find their inner strength, build their self-confidence and accomplish their biggest dreams, whatever they may be. Melissa lives outside of London, England with her husband Darren and their three children.

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Darren Roos

Dad, Leader, CEO, Advocate

Darren Roos is a South African born CEO of global software company, IFS. Darren's career of building and scaling world class software businesses spans over 25 years and he is a regular spokesperson on channels such as CNBC and Bloomberg TV. A committed advocate of equality and diversity, he increased the female leadership in IFS from 10% to 40% and created the IFS Foundation, raising over $250,000 to break the poverty cycle in Sri Lanka. Darren also sits on the board of global software company SiteCore.

When not working, Darren enjoys spending time at home with his wife Melissa and their three children.

The wider team

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Claudia Hogan

Trustee

Claudia has built a career as a growth strategist and marketer with technology companies around the world.

A mother to 2 young boys and a keen footballer, she is passionate about providing children with the tools needed to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

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Edit Kovács

Trustee

Edit is passionate about technology, solving problems and inspiring children, young adults and professionals to find their own path.

As a Chief Product Officer she regularly volunteers and participates in Women in Tech and technology educational events like the Hour of Code.

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Ellen Shustik

Head of Programmes and External Relations

Ellen has worked for a number of INGOs around the world, and spent years working in federal and provincial politics in Canada. During her time in London, Ellen has worked for Liberal International, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

She holds a Masters in European Studies and recently attained a Masters in Human Rights Law.

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Siobhán Barrett-Donlon

Programme Coordinator

Siobhán was the first Inner Wings employee, joining in January 2021. She has a degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Birmingham and has experience volunteering and working for a number of leading charities.

Siobhán was instrumental in building our first school programme, Finding Your Superpower, which is now being rolled out in schools across the UK. Whilst having a keen interest in politics and gender equality, Siobhán's hobbies also include being a musician and member of the National Youth Theatre.

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Ilaria Magagnoli Frediani

Coaching Psychologist

Following her career in the City as a top-ranked financial analyst and raising two daughters, Ilaria is passionate about empowering women and young people to reach their full potential.

As a coaching psychologist, she applies behavioural and strategic insight to help individuals develop their capabilities, resilience and performance. At Inner Wings, she helps write educational programmes to help children see challenges as opportunities and not letting their fears stop them, making a positive impact on their lives.

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Copyright ©2021 by Inner Wings Foundation

Inner Wings is a registered private limited company by guarantee (Company No. 12703942)
Registered Charity in England and Wales (Charity No. 1192877)