Last week saw the release of Directors past and present, Katy Mousinho and Giles Lury’s ‘Wonder Women’ Inspiring Stories and Insightful Interviews with Women in Marketing.
It serves as a celebration of the women who invented, nurtured, built, and rebuilt brands we know and love today, and aims to create greater awareness of women’s immense success and contributions to the world of marketing.
Following the launch of the book and International Women’s Day just this week, the TVE team have chosen to nominate their very own Wonder Women from marketing, business and beyond and share the stories and inspiration of those women shaping the world around them today.
Nominated by Lucinda Toole, Senior Consultant
Otegha Uwagba is a writer, speaker and brand consultant. After beginning her career in advertising, she launched the networking and career advice platform Women Who, wrote and published the bestselling book Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women, and in 2018 became a Forbes 30 Under 30 for Media and Marketing. Since then, her published essay, Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods, was shortlisted for the Guardian Book of the Year, and her memoir, We Need to Talk about Money will be published this June (and it will be at the top of my summer reading list).
These facts alone earn Uwagba the title ‘Wonder Woman’. But it’s about more than the accolades and the publications: Uwagba has an ongoing commitment to making working life work for her, and to creating and being at the heart of the conversations and spaces she always wished were available to her. In doing so, she’s showing women how to make the working world a better place for them.
That’s why, for me, one of the most inspiring things Uwagba has done is in fact something she has decided not to do. A few months ago, I saw Uwagba’s social media posts and email notifications stating that her long-standing and hugely popular platform, Women Who, was coming to a close. Ending something, or saying no, brings fears of what others will think – will it show I have failed? Does it mean my idea, or I, was not good enough? Uwagba took control of the narrative: she was doing what was right for her, following her instincts, and crucially, letting go of something she no longer felt aligned with. I, like many of my female friends, feel an almost crippling obligation to please other people, and put not letting others down ahead of almost everything else. And when I stopped writing a blog about sustainable fashion that approximately 0 people read a few years ago, I felt as though I was letting someone down (exactly who remains TBD). Consistently putting herself first, listening to her gut, and standing up for what she believes in is what makes Otegha Uwagba my Wonder Woman, and someone I strive to be more like every day.
Nominated by Caroline Camm, Consultant
Suzanne Alderson is an author, community leader and founder of the charity, Parenting Mental Health. Former co-founder of a specialist B2B marketing agency, her life changed forever in 2015 when her 14-year-old daughter became depressed, anxious and suicidal. With no real support available for parents, she vowed that if they got through that difficult time, she would support other parents like her, so no-one would ever have to face it alone. Slowly her daughter recovered, and Suzanne founded a Facebook community to connect with other parents and share stories, advice and resources.
As the community grew to over 20,000 members, so did her vision: to support 1 million families by 2025. In 2020 Penguin published her book Never Let Go and Parenting Mental Health became a charity offering free training, peer mentorship, listening and counsellor services, amongst other things, specifically for parents. Suzanne is also my godmother and I have been amazed to watch her incredible story unfold. She constantly inspires me with her compassion, vision, and determination to change lives for the better.
My Three Wonder Women
Nominated by Ed Hebblethwaite, Director
Where to begin with Baroness Helena Louise Morrisey! Not only did she set up her own investment business in an incredibly male-dominated world, but she’s also a mother of nine and a trailblazer in promoting inclusion and diversity of thought. As the Founder of 30% Club, she has made enormous contributions to re-addressing the gender balance across boards and senior management in FTSE 100 companies worldwide.
Baroness Martha Lane Fox is another phenomenal individual, again starting up a digital empire in the male-dominated dot com world and quite rightly listed as one of the most influential women in the UK today.
Malala Yousafzai cannot go without mention. Standing up for women’s right to be educated, she is a true visionary and Wonder Woman, demonstrating total bravery and belief.
Nominated by Lucia Corry, Marketing Analyst
Pastry chef, author, columnist and presenter, Ravneet Gill is a powerful force for creativity and change within her industry. Although I followed her initially for her pastry skills and recipes (which are fantastic, may I add!), it became immediately clear to me that her talents and her impact extend far beyond this.
Since I’m only just starting out in my career, I truly look up to those who have not only had the courage and ambition to carve out their own path for success but laid the ladder down to help others climb with them. Founder of Countertalk, a platform designed to connect aspiring chefs at a time when their sector has been hit harder than most, as well as educate and promote positive, healthy working environments in the hospitality industry, Ravneet is a huge inspiration, breaking down barriers and creating transformative spaces for the next generation of talent.
A true pioneer, I have huge admiration for Ravneet as someone sharing their passion and using their influence to shape the experiences of others for the better!
For more inspiring stories, check out ‘Wonder Women’, Inspiring Stories & Insightful Interviews!