Incredible Women in Leadership & HR that we think you should connect with for International Women’s Day 2023

Our list of inspiring women we think you should know about on International Women’s Day 2023

Our team has put together this list of women that we think deserve recognition, for the amazing work they’ve done this year, on International Women’s Day 2023. The list features women in leadership, in HR and hope that you find some great new connections as a result.

So without further adieu here’s a list of amazing women that we think you should know about.

Lorraine Kelly

Director of Organisation Development at King’s College London

Lorraine is an authentic kind and caring leader who is creating opportunities for talent to reach their potential across KCL. I enjoy our weekly enormously as she has given me insight into myself my business and my team.

Connect with Lorraine on LinkedIn

Nikki Gatenby

Non Exec Director, Cognitive Behavioural Coach & Best-Selling Author

Nikki is one of life’s energisers, she is full of colour, vibrant and she built a hugely successful marketing agency which at its heart was about empowering their people. She understands the importance of creativity comes when people are motivated and “super engaged” which she writes about in her highly successful book.

Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn

Fay Wallis

Founder of Bright Sky Coaching, and Host of HR Coffee Time Podcast

Fay is incredible! Super talented, brilliant at helping people navigate their careers and a fantastic coach and business owner and Founder of Bright Sky Career Coaching. Fay hosts the HR Coffee Time podcast to help serve the community by sharing her awesome tips and experience, combined with inspirational HR leader guest speakers who are invited to share their wisdom too.

Connect with Fay on LinkedIn

Mel Francis

Founder of Neuroinclusive HR

Mel is a kind compassionate HR professional who is trailblazing in her passion to educate and support organisations to make them kinder and more inclusive to neurodiverse talent. Really inspirational to hear her journey and the impact she is making in the world of HR to become more aware, and change perceptions.

Connect with Mel on LinkedIn

Philomena Gray

Global Chief People Officer at Imagination

Philomena understands and thrives in creative environments and brings a warmth, calmness and pragmatism to building employee experiences which drive high performances for the business and the culture.

Connect with Philomena on LinkedIn

Jan Stancliffe

Head of Talent & Learning at Schroders

Jan has a great eye for innovation and always open to new ways of doing things. Highly collaborative and open minded, Jan is paving the way in her organisation. She is incredibly inspiring and brilliant to partner with!

Connect with Jan on LinkedIn

Catrin Gaston-Penny

Human Resources Director at CGT Catapult

Catrin tells it like it is, and in a start up environment that is exactly what you need. She has overseen the building of culture, leadership and people in order to not only effect and enable people to want to develop their careers but also to have an impact on the wider bio industry

Connect with Catrin on LinkedIn

Claire Koryczan

Founder & Director of Imagine Beyond – & Let’s Talk Talent Associate

Claire is a long time member of our Let’s Talk Talent family. Passionate about unlocking the best in people, with a focus on innovation and creativity. Claire always brings the energy to in person sessions and helps teams reflect and feel re-energised. She excels at helping people feel comfortable, outside of their comfort zone.

Connect with Claire on LinkedIn

Liz Henson

Founder of HR Ninjas

Liz has created an incredible community HR Ninjas of over 18,000 (and counting) HRs in the UK. HRs from across every industry help out other HRs of all levels. It’s highly valued by so many in the HR world. It’s truly inspiring to see the opportunities for networking, support and care at whatever stage you are in your career. Thanks Liz!

Connect with Liz on LinkedIn

Soraia Cerqueira

Senior Learning & Development Manager at Warner Bros.

Soraia is passionate and knowledgeable. She is commercially minded, understanding the business and how to drive change and whilst beautifully balancing this with the needs of her team and employees. She cares deeply. She is creative, innovative and happy to challenge to ensure that she gets the best from everyone and everything. She brings energy to her work and is not afraid to try new approaches and solutions. We’ve learnt a lot from her and find her a joy to work with.  

Connect with Soraia on LinkedIn

Perie Cordner

Performance and Culture Lead at Mazars in the UK

Perie is amazing. Her support and care in the short time we’ve been working together had been eye-opening, in the best way. She wants to make a difference and is leading her business through change with clarity and simplicity at its heart.

Connect with Perie on LinkedIn

Kelly Black

Global Director at L&D at PZ Cussons

Kelly is a brave and bold leader who is not afraid to try new things in her work and in the organisations she works for. She pioneered the careers work at CFG her last role which had an enormous effect on the possibilities that opened up for staff across that business.

Connect with Kelly on LinkedIn

Sally Henderson

Founder of High Stakes Leadership Mentoring

Sally works to support leaders through her leadership mentoring to better understand themselves improving their confidence and providing insight into how they being their best self to work. This ultimately has a tremendous effect on how these leaders support their teams and the culture of organisations.

Connect with Sally on LinkedIn

Bridget Lea

Managing Director of Commercial at BT

Bridget is an ex-colleague who I worked with nearly 15 years ago and I still remember how hard she worked to engage and recognise her team, and I loved working with her. More recently Bridget has been speaking out about issues surrounding racial inequality. She was asked to speak about this at the recent student graduation event at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was recently nominated by Retail Week as an Inspirational Black Leader in the Industry. She is committed to creating lasting change for those experiencing inequality.

Connect with Bridget on LinkedIn

Nadia Hoosen

Global Chief Legal Officer of OneWeb

We worked together at Talk Talk a while back, and it’s been amazing to see her fly ever since. Now Nadia is working at Oneweb she inspires me because she is a force. A really kind compassionate leader of people.

Connect with Nadia on LinkedIn

Pip Jamieson

Founder & CEO of The Dots

Pip is an extraordinary human being and a huge inspiration. She champions inclusion, has built the creative challenger platform to Linkedin; The Dots and now has over Their membership is around 500,000 members. 62% of whom are women and 31% Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)!

Pip is always giving back to the creative community and supporting people to succeed in every way she can. I have personally felt the impact of Pip’s mentorship – she is a truly amazing woman.

Connect with Pip on LinkedIn

Gemma Greaves

Co-Founder of Nurture & Partners and Founder of Cabal (Formerly CEO of Marketing Society)

Gemma is wonderful, she is such an inspirational leader, devoted to helping others succeed, shining the spotlight on great talent. She is highly creative and visionary creating her ground-breaking Brave / Braver / Bravest agenda as the CEO of The Marketing Society. Gemma is one of the kindest human beings I know, loves to help and lift others up. She is a fantastic role model and has touched the hearts and minds of so many of us!

Connect with Gemma on LinkedIn

Shelley Hayward

Head of Development & Talent at The Cumberland

Aside from her infectious energy, creativity and passion, Shelley has been the driving force behind a new initiative which has made a real tangible difference to the individuals involved within the project. Not only professionally but also personally supporting their overall wellbeing and confidence. Shelley is a pleasure to work which is why I think she is awesome!

Connect with Shelley on LinkedIn

Joanne Wheatley & Zoe Hawkins

Coaches and Founders of In Good Company

Joanne and Zoe lead In Good Company who run triple accredited coaching courses for those working in HR, courageous leaders and CEO’s and future coaches. Jo and Zoe have created an incredible community for coaches and leaders enabling them to have the support and confidence to coach with authenticity and skill. They are both compassionate and purpose led leaders who are leading the way in coaching and the impact in can have on the world.

Connect with Joanne on LinkedIn

Connect with Zoe on LinkedIn

Hester Pooles

Head of Legal at The AA

Hester is a superstar! Super smart, a great leader and always exploring ways to grow and develop her team. Hester is involved in a brilliant initiative at The AA for women returning from work after maternity leave, and is driving the programme with mentorship and support to create positive impact where it’s needed most. Hester is a joy to collaborate with and a rising star!

Connect with Hester on LinkedIn

Ewa Priestley

VP Head of Learning, Diversity and Org Development at Miro

Ewa is a powerhouse in the world of Talent Development, who loves the pace, challenge and complexity of working in start up environments. She creates approaches which are simple and consumer facing in organisations and that touch peoples, hearts and heads.

Connect with Ewa on LinkedIn

April Tomlinson

VP HR at Liverpool FC

April is tenacious, strong and determined which in the world in which she operates are exactly the qualities needed off the pitch. She is driven to learn, push people to be the best they can be but is equally humble and open to learn herself and improve how she supports the business.

Connect with April on LinkedIn

Yasmine Alani

Head of Creative Learning, DEI & Culture at Media Zoo

Yasmine wants to drive change for the better and even when the road is hard going and the audience reluctant she creates innovative and creative ways to get the message across. When I worked with her she was passionately challenging and was instrumental in driving the DE&I agenda and has carried this on wherever she goes. She is brilliant at her job and uses the platform of her brilliance to raise awareness in others – she’s an inspiration to us all.

Connect with Yasmine on LinkedIn

Jas Rai

Head of People at The British Library

Jas is one determined Head of People that really creates the join up across the employee experience. She is courageous and brave in her beliefs and is not afraid to speak the truth however difficult that maybe. She is the true mirror for the business and is building a team that we believe can and will make a huge difference to peoples lives.

Connect with Jas on LinkedIn

Emma Azemi

Senior Director HR at euNetworks

Emma is a heart led leader in euNetworks that puts the cultural DNA into everything she achieves. As one of the values of this business says work hard and be kind to people, this is what I think of when I think of Emma. It is her core and backbone and I respect that as do her colleagues.

Connect with Emma on LinkedIn

Rose Sandy

Publishing Director at Harper Collins UK

Rose is a true pioneer in the world of publishing, championing diversity and inclusivity in a sector which is very traditional. She launched and amazing training programme to advocate and give opportunities to new and up and coming BAME writers of which we were proud to support. Her legacy will live on and that is the true mark of inspiration in my mind as driven by both passion and purpose a true gift.

Connect with Rose on LinkedIn

Katie Allen

Founding Director at Katie Allen Consulting

Katie is a specialist Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant who describes herself as helping organisations and leaders avoid those “foot in mouth moments” (her words). She is pioneering the way in this space particularly in terms of allyship in action and creating inclusive programs for the workplace. 

Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Shelley Bishton

Head of Creative Diversity at News UK

Shelley is a driver of change. She was one of the pioneers of the DE&I campaign at News UK which is now leading the way in driving understanding, momentum and true change in these areas. She has something genuine to say and makes people sit up and listen in a way that is challenging and yet inviting. She taught me and a huge number of others so much. She is brave, determined and passionate and I applaud her for the work she has done and continues to do.

Connect with Shelley on LinkedIn

Liz Jones

Founder at Conker

Liz always has an incredible ability to make everyone feel valued. A leader who truly sees the people around her and lifts and supports them.

Connect with Liz on LinkedIn

Natasha Shafi

Managing Director at Mr & Mrs Smith

Natasha strikes a great cultural balance of performance and wellbeing. She is responsible for team members across Mr & Mrs Smith’s four global offices, improving operational efficiency at every level of the organisation whilst caring for the people.

Connect with Natasha on LinkedIn

Who have we missed? Who would you add to this list? Get in touch and leave a comment below.

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