Looking back at 2022: Our top Inspirational Women & HeForShe interviews

In the third and final installments of looking back at 2022, we delve into our favourite Inspirational Women & HeForShe interviews of the year.

Our Inspirational Women series of interviews aims to highlight amazing women across the globe, showcase their achievements and raise their profiles. Over the years, we have interviewed so many amazing women such as Angie Greaves, Paula Radcliffe, Bianca Miller-Cole, Caprice Bourret, Sara Davies MBE and many more.

Our HeForShe interviews celebrate men who promote and support women in the workplace, whether it is through campaigning, mentoring or giving opportunities to women.

Menna Fitzpatrick & Jennifer Kehoe featured

Menna Fitzpatrick MBE | British alpine ski racer & one of Britain’s most-decorated Winter Paralympian

Menna Fitzpatrick is a visually impaired alpine skier competing with British Army Officer Jennifer Kehoe as her sighted guide on the World Cup circuit.

Menna and Jen became Britain’s Most-Decorated Winter Paralympians at the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympic Games, winning one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

​Menna was born visually impaired; she has no vision in her left eye and limited sight in her right. Her parents were determined that she would not be disadvantaged by this and, when she was five years old, they taught her to ski. Menna has less than five per cent overall vision, which means she skis with a guide. She learned to ski on family holidays in France. After being spotted at the Chill Factore snow centre in Manchester, she was invited to train with the British Parasnowsports Team with her Dad as her guide. 

Emma Kay

Emma Kay | Founder, WalkSafe+

WalkSafe+ is the brainchild of 34-year-old Emma Kay, who as a daughter of a met police officer had many rules to make sure Emma and her siblings stayed and continue to stay safe when out and about. Over her lifetime Emma has experienced catcalling, following, groping and flashing, sadly events that occur too regularly to many women across the world.

As an adult, the working world expanded Emma’s perspective to experiences beyond her own. Volunteering at a community centre for people in crisis, she saw first hand the experiences women had, specifically their fear of the streets at night, confirming her fear that personal safety really is an issue that affects everyone.

Emma’s career in childcare highlighted the importance of educating young girls and boys about issues like consent, gender bias and the importance of preventative actions. Emma built WalkSafe+ as she truly believes technology, combined with vision can genuinely save lives.

Maggie Chen | Co-Founder, Girls in Charge

Maggie Chen is an entrepreneur, doctoral researcher, and non-executive director (NED).

She launched her first company in 2015 when she was still a fresher at university. She now works in the startup space on three levels, in terms of practice, academia, and policy. She runs two businesses, researches and lectures on entrepreneurship, and contributes to policy and strategy to support businesses in the Cheshire and Warrington region. Her non-profit Girls in Charge brings together all three aspects of her work by upskilling, informing, and empowering women globally with entrepreneurial skills through gamified content.

Estelle Keeber

Estelle Keeber | Founder, Immortal Monkey

Estelle Keeber is the Founder of Immortal Monkey and one of the UKs leading Instagram Experts.

Featured on ITV news, Daily Telegraph and Forbes, Estelle has built a global following and turned over more than a million pounds in the first 2 years of her previous company launching. Her fun personality and passion for teaching Instagram is evident from the moment she steps in the room whether that be in person or virtually. Her interactive style makes her stand out in the niche along with her easy to relate to personal stories.

 

Deborah Garlick

Deborah Garlick | Founder, Henpicked

Deborah Garlick is the founder of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, delivering training to hundreds of organisations across the public and private sector. She was instrumental in establishing Menopause Friendly, for organisations to receive accreditation of their menopause activity from an independent panel of experts.

Menopause Friendly has just run its first Menopause Friendly Employer Awards, celebrating workplace excellence in the field. Deborah is a passionate advocate of all-things menopause, appearing regularly in press, on TV and radio. She gave evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause and is also the author of the book Menopause: The Change for the Better, published by Bloomsbury.

Holly Zoccolan

Holly Zoccolan | Founder, Carol

Holly is the Founder and CEO of the mobile app, Carol.

After studying law at Newcastle University, then going on to complete her Nutrition Studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Holly started her journey as an entrepreneur by building her wellness brand The Health Zoc in 2016. Then after having her son in 2020 with little support around her, she felt that there needed to be a mobile app that connected and supported mums throughout their motherhood journey and so in 2022, she built it!

Carol is a mobile app that connects mums based on similar interests, location and children of the same age and offers expert-led resources across Pregnancy, Postpartum, Baby Sleep, Baby Feeding, Baby Development and The Early Years all in one place.

Kemi Maumee

Kemi Maumee | Director, Brighter Futures Project

Kemi Maumee is Director of Brighter Futures Project, a South London-based initiative for adults with learning disabilities – primarily autism.

Brighter Futures Project is a specialist skills hub providing unique support programmes which help improve the quality life of adults with LDs. Offering an essential service to the community, Kemi leads an experienced team of caring and well-trained staff in offering courses and skills which support its individuals lead more independent and fulfilling lives.

Lauren Seager-Smith

Lauren Seager-Smith | CEO, Kidscape

Lauren Seager-Smith is a child rights advocate and campaigner and is CEO of bullying prevention charity Kidscape.

Lauren has over twenty years in the youth sector, including positions at National Children’s Bureau, Save the Children, Reading Borough Council and Lattitude. Lauren is a Trustee of Children England, Member of the England Committee for Action for Children, board member of the UK Safer Internet Centre, Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety and the Internet Matters Expert Advisory Group. Lauren is a Fellow of the RSA and Associate of the Institute of Responsible Leadership. Lauren was listed in Who’s Who 2018 and the Evening Standard #Progress1000 List 2019. Lauren is a regular media spokesperson and commentator.

Lee Chambers | Psychologist, Coach & Founder, Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing

Lee Chambers is a psychologist, coach and founder of Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing, a wellbeing and inclusion consultancy.

After a diverse career, including time in corporate finance, elite sports and the third sector, alongside scaling a videogame business, he has brought his knowledge and lived experience together to support companies in creating equitable culture, psychologically safe spaces and effective wellbeing strategies. This has been borne from his own lived experience, which has included mental health challenges, time as a stay at home Dad, and learning to walk again in 2014 after illness. He was the winner of the Great British Entrepreneur Award for service industries in 2021.

Joeli Brearley

Joeli Brearley | Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed

Joeli Brearley is the founder of the charity and campaign group, Pregnant Then Screwed which she established in 2015 after her own experience of pregnancy discrimination.

She writes for the Telegraph, is the winner of the Sheila McKenzie: Campaigner of the Year 2021 award, the Northern Power Women: Agent for Change award, is an Amnesty International Human Rights Defender, a member of the United Nations Working Group: Women’s Human Rights in the Changing World of Work and is one of British Vogue’s 25 most influential women of 2021. In January 2021 she took the Government to court for indirect sex discrimination due to the way self employed mothers were being financially penalised by the income support scheme.

Her debut book: ”Pregnant Then Screwed: The Truth about the Motherhood Penalty’’ was published by Simon & Schuster on the 4th March 2021.

Lauren Winfield-Hill | English Cricketer, World Cup Winner

Lauren Winfield-Hill is an English cricketer who currently plays for Yorkshire, Northern Diamonds, Oval Invincibles, Melbourne Stars and England.

She made her international debut in 2013 and was part of the England team that won the 2017 World Cup. She has recently featured in episode two of Royal London’s ‘The Changing Room’ series, aimed at drawing attention to issues that matter in achieving diversity in cricket.

 

Caroline O’Connor | CEO, Migrant Help

Caroline joined Migrant Help, a large UK charity that supports refugees, asylum seekers, survivors of modern slavery and other vulnerable displaced people, in March 2017 as the Chief Operating Officer and became the CEO in January 2020. Her focus, integrity and commitment ensure that Migrant Help is able to do the most good it can for our clients.

Her background is in finance and operations, her last position before joining Migrant Help was Finance and Operations Director for a children’s hospice in London. She studied economics and law, later moving to finance and accountancy.

Kate Griggs

Kate Griggs | Founder & CEO, Made By Dyslexia

Kate Griggs is a British Social Entrepreneur, Dyslexic Thinking Expert, Award-Winning Campaigner and Bestselling Author.

One in five people are dyslexic. Since 2005, Kate Griggs has been leading the change to disrupt the world’s thinking about dyslexia. She was shocked by the way her son’s dyslexia was ignored at school and her high-profile campaign for change culminated in the UK government’s Dyslexia Review.

In 2017 she founded global charity Made By Dyslexia to help the world understand, value and support dyslexia. Her first children’s book Xtraordinary People was published in 2020 and her latest book for adults, THIS is Dyslexia, is out now.

Dr Julia Morris | Cancer Drug Discovery Scientist, Mentor & Co-Director, Mentorship and Outreach, Black in Cancer

My name is Julia and I’m currently a Senior Bioscientist in the Drug Discovery Unit, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. I am responsible for designing, developing, and conducting experiments to evaluate the ability of new pre-clinical cancer drugs (designed by our in-house medicinal chemists) to kill cancer cells in a precise manner. Ultimately, we hope that these inhibitors will eventually help to treat cancer more effectively. Additionally, I volunteer for Black in Cancer as the Co-Director of Mentorship and Outreach. Black in Cancer is an organisation that operates in the UK and USA that was founded in 2020 by Sigourney Bell and Dr Henry Henderson III. Black in Cancer aims to bring aspiring and established Black cancer researchers, clinicians, patients, and professionals who work in oncology, together to network and bring light to excellent work and in cancer research and medicine.

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