13 female authors who #PressForProgress in their industries

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Every year on 8 March there's a global campaign to highlight the tremendous gap between men and women in the workforce. This has been happening each year since 1911 when the suffragettes began recognising this disparity.

International Women’s Day is significant because it brings attention to the fact that gender parity is over 200 years away, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress and calls for people to ‘guide and galvanize collective action.’

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8th, we took the opportunity to reach out to some of our leading female authors and academics who have impacted positive change in their respective fields. We wanted to find out what advice they would have for the next generation of female leaders, how they have achieved success in their respective industries, and, in keeping with the theme for this year’s campaign, how have they pressed for progress?

Here's what they had to say.

Deborah Lewis

Author of Corporate Financial Management

‘My advice is don’t be afraid to ask others how they got to where they are, what qualifications they have and what skills are most important to the role. You will realise that there is as much luck as judgement in reaching the top - primarily being in the right place at the right time, but also by having the interest and awareness to recognise the opportunity when it arrives. Your career will thrive on your curiosity about your environment and your ability to make links with others.’

Belinda Waldock

Author of Being Agile in Business

‘I am a co-organiser of Agile on the Beach, which is an annual software development and business conference in Cornwall. For the past eight years I have been actively working to naturally increase the number of women speaking and attending our conference. I am delighted to be able to say that this year we are set to have a 50:50 split. I am personally incredibly proud we have achieved (this) given that the percentage of women in the tech sector is just 10-20%.’

Jackie Willis - Associate Dean (retired), University of Herts

Co-author of Foundation Mathematics for Biosciences

‘I have often told my students and academic colleagues of my experience when attending my first scientific conference. The main speaker looked around the hall and said ‘Good morning, gentlemen… and lady.’ Being in a minority...acts as a catalyst for progression initiating a determination to succeed and address imbalances of opportunity.’

Amanda Thompson

Author of Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management

‘As an academic, textbook author and now senior manager in higher education, I have tried to model transparency, equity and a consistent approach when working with others or leading others.’

Barbara Casa Lukac

Author of Introduction to Banking

‘I press for progress by mentoring young female academics and researchers and PhD students and generally encouraging more women into academia.’

Iyiola Solanke

Author of European Union Law

‘I am involved with the Temple Women’s Forum and the Black Female Professors Forum, which I set up. Both of these are organisations that press for progress for women. I work with other women to host events where women can inspire and learn from each other, as well as make plans to activate change.’

Emma Ledden

Author of The Presentation Book and The Communication Book

‘I press for progress by helping women to create a message, find their voice and speak with confidence and composure.’

Sarah Turnbull

Author of Marketing Communications

‘I support women in higher education. I’m a role model for women in higher education as part of a national programme. I also support female colleagues here through mentoring programmes within my own institution. I urge all women at the top to send the lift back down.’

Grace Marshall

Author of How to Be REALLY Productive

‘I’ve been pressing for progress by making sure that through my writing, speaking, and training on productivity topics like work-life balance, flexible working, and also understanding the mental load are not just topics that are part of the women’s agenda but also part of wider productivity agenda as well.’

Ela Bryson - senior lecturer in molecular biology, University of Herts

Co-author of Foundation Mathematics for Biosciences

‘I have followed my dream of being a scientist and a mother. I hope my children, a girl and a boy, will live in a world where both can follow their dreams with equal opportunity.’

Claudia Girardone

Author of Introduction to Banking

'I have pressed for progress by being part of a committee that reviews and improves gender equality practices in my institution. Also by encouraging and supporting women in academia and by mentoring young women in this career. I believe now more than ever we need to challenge stereotypes and biases, press forward and progress for gender parity.’

Erin Amerman

Author of Human Anatomy and Physiology

'We all want more girls and young women in STEM and science writing, but when they look to the popular media for role models they find... men. Can you name one female scientist who has made it into the popular science media à la Neil deGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye? As a science author and professor, I'm pressing for progress by working to break up this boys' club. My aim is to increase the visibility of talented women scientists and science authors so that girls and young women have an ample supply of women role models in the popular media.’

Helen Goworek

Author of Retail Marketing Management

‘Throughout my academic career I’ve pressed for progress in publishing about the fashion business, which is sometimes viewed as trivial, even though it’s one of the largest sectors of the economy worldwide. I’ve also continually supported and mentored female and male colleagues in this field,’

Now that you have heard from these inspiring women, feel free to share your own story, using the hashtag #PressForProgress on Twitter.

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