Please visit for more information.

In today’s Britain, women in senior management or influential positions over the age of 55 years are invisible. Statistics highlight how few women are in positions of power, from Parliament to the boardroom. Yet the few who do break through this glass ceiling remain largely uncelebrated and unheard of.

Celebrities like Judy Dench are well known, but who has heard of Averil Mansfield, the UK’s first female professor of surgery, Pauline Clare, the first British woman to become a Chief Constable or Joy Larkcom, the British woman whose studies and adventures brought rocket and pak choi into this country and onto our dinner plates?

Who are these unseen leading ladies?

In this project 100 older women of major influence in Britain today are photographed and interviewed: from film studios to science labs and the Houses of Parliament, women from every walk of life, whose jobs are essential to the running of this country.

What would they tell their younger self? How did they manage their jobs and families? Did their achievement take its toll? Are young women today attempting too much? Have men’s attitudes shifted accordingly?

In my own lifetime I have witnessed a profound shift: from little girls imagining their future as marriage and children to the now total belief from childhood that a woman will grow up to have a career outside the home. It is more important than ever to see the important women from all fields in our society and hear their voices of experience.

As one of our subjects says in her interview, there is a woman’s revolution every fifty years and the next is due just around the corner in 2018.

So as one chapter in the history of women in work comes to a close and another begins, this book will bring together one hundred portraits, each accompanied by an interview with the sitter telling, in essence, one hundred stories, each unique, of ‘how I made it work.’

In making invisible women visible, this book will create twenty first century icons. But this book is not a power list. The women, purposefully, are not ranked according to their influence. The project takes a deeper, more nuanced look at the myriad and sometimes subtle ways in which women have wielded influence over the last couple of decades and how that is changing.