Gillian Charlesworth is Group CEO of BRE - the Building Research Establishment, which is a centre of building science in the UK.

Over a career that has taken her from the civil service, via the Institute of Chartered Accountants, to spending most of the 90s in the food and drink industry - having trained as a chef as Prue Leith's School of Food and Wine - Gillian went back to 'the desk' as she calls it and put her newly acquired knowledge to good use as Head of Commercial and European Affairs at the Wine and Spirit Trade Association before joining the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in 2004.

Gillian was named on the inaugural 'Kindness and Leadership 50 Leading Lights' list in 2018 and has proudly offered her services as a judge for both the Women of the Future and Asian Women Awards.

Armed with hard earned ambition, confidence, self-motivation and assertiveness she's been in her current role at BRE since May 2019.

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

Amy Durrant is a freelance conceptual creative director and copywriter, who has worked in advertising, media and technology for nearly a decade.

Having spent her youth in Essex writing stories for her Beanie Babies as well having her sci-fi novel 'Prisms' published when she was just 18, Amy went on to study Journalism at Sheffield University.

Starting a music magazine with a close friend she travelled the world reporting on gigs and festivals, but realising this wasn't where her heart lay transitioned into storytelling for design and technology.

Moving into advertising and working on accounts as varied as Nintendo and the Teenage Cancer Trust, she has been able to excellently demonstrate how creativity and technology can come together.

Amy was shortlisted for a Women of the Future Award in the Media category in 2017 and has worked as an Ambassador for the Programme ever since.

An LGBTQ+ role model for Stonewall, this is also the first time that she has spoken about her cancer diagnosis as a child.

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

Sean Tompkins is Global CEO of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and previously Director of financial services company, Prudential.

As part of his role at RICS he's been awarded honorary doctorates by Heriot-Watt and Amity University, accompanied UK Prime Ministers on trade missions, and addressed political leaders at the United Nations on furthering Sustainable Development Goals.

When it comes to the Women of the Future; a chance meeting with founder Pinky Lilani at his daughter’s school, saw Sean being instrumental in the addition of the new ‘Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction’ category to their Awards in 2014.

In 2018 Sean was named on the ’50 Leading Lights’ list, a campaign showcasing leaders building a new status quo and impacting others through kindness.

He was also recognised in this year's 'Agents of Change' list of male UK business leaders who have excelled in promoting the role of women in the workplace. Handpicked by diversity trailblazers from across British culture, business and social advocacy organisations, Sean has been recognised for his leadership in both championing women at RICS and advocacy for greater female representation in the Chartered Surveying Profession around the world.

The first man to feature - Kim and Sean spoke about his Kent upbringing and the inspirational English teacher who encouraged him into a career in the City, evolving the concept of flexibility within his workforce, as well as Sean’s continuing efforts to improve female representation within the chartered surveying industry.

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

Jules Chappell OBE is a communications specialist.

After graduating university in 2003, Jules joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was posted to Baghdad as a member of the coalition's governance team after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime – she was appointed an OBE the following year in recognition of her services.

In 2008 Jules became the UK’s youngest ambassador to Guatemala, and non-resident ambassador to El Salvador and Honduras at the age of 31. During her time in Guatemala, she made issues surrounding domestic violence in the country a key part of her mission.

In 2013, Jules won a Women of the Future Award  in the Community Spirits category. 

She is currently a Managing Director at London and Partners.

Kim and Jules spoke about bringing out her competitive edge in training for the England Lacrosse team with her German Shepherd in Ethiopia, the inspiration she derives from her husband and 4 year-old twins, newfound passion for immersive story-telling and how combining resilience with humanity has always been a huge part of work. 

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

Sarah Sobka is a medical student at the University of Sheffield.

Her research into the most common inherited disease in the UK, cystic fibrosis, has seen her list as one of Forbes 30 under 30 for Science and Healthcare in 2016 and speak at the Royal Society of Medicine's Innovation Summit. She was also named Young Scientist of the Year in 2015.

Also a passionate advocate for youth involvement in science, specifically young women, Sarah won the Young Star category at the Women of the Future Awards in 2018.

Kim and Sarah spoke about developing a love for medicine from an early age, the importance of role models and mentors and her passion for normalising the pathway for women to get into STEM.

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

 

Cheryl Laidlaw is a website and graphic designer also known by her alter-ego ‘London Web Girl’.

Having started her own business at 26, it evolved to become ‘Website in a Day’ – offering clients just that, the ability to create their own website in one single day.

Through her ‘London Web Girl’ brand, Cheryl is able to share her passion for elevating women in tech to her tens of thousands of followers on social media.

Cheryl was Highly Commended in the Entrepreneur category at the Women of the Future Awards in 2018.

Kim and Cheryl spoke about her London upbringing and challenges with dyslexia, stumbling into a career as a graphic designer, the importance of networking and personal branding, plus printing your CV on fluorescent paper if you want to stand out(!)

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

Naomi Kerbel is Global Head of TV and Radio Scheduling at Bloomberg.

Whilst studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University, she put her passion for the performing arts to good use as a member of the renowned theatrical club ‘Footlights’.

A self-confessed compulsive ‘do-er’, Naomi is also an ambassador for the British Red Cross and host of her own podcast series ‘Show Me The Way’.

She was shortlisted for a Women of the Future Award in 2013 in the Media category.

Kim and Naomi spoke about spending her formative years in Miami, the boarding school experiences that shaped her life, late career re-direction and the role broadcaster Jeremy Vine played in it all...

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

To listen to Naomi's podcast, Show Me The Way, a series of conversations with women at the top of their game, click here

Lauren Dickerson is a clean tech entrepreneur from Boston, MA, USA.

Cofounder of Lunagen, an innovative hydropower technology start-up, Lauren has a remarkable background in renewable energy consulting and market analysis. 

With a B.A. from Boston College and an MBA from Imperial College, Lauren is currently Head of Partnerships at Centrica based in London.

Lauren was shortlisted for a Women of the Future Award in the MBA Star category in 2016 and it’s fair to say that issues of climate change, the environment, clean tech and sustainability are very dear to her heart.

Kim and Lauren spoke about her upbringing in America, how her time volunteering in Asia made her realise how easy it is to take things for granted and not having a defeatist attitude to failure - "what is failure but a chance to learn"?

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

 

 

Sheila Nortley has written and produced several internationally award-winning productions including Zion, Victim and the feature film David is Dying

In 2013 Sheila shot the independent hit Sable Fable - a stunning and sensitive film about interracial relationships, which went on to win Best Film at the American Black Film Festival awards in Miami, Florida.

Sheila was the recipient of the Woman of the Future Award in the Arts & Culture category for her work in film in 2016.

Subsequently she was invited to meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street for her commitment to filmmaking as a means of social change.

Kim and Sheila spoke about her Ghanaian roots, the origins of her passion for film-making, how it felt to receive a prestigious award on a global stage and a chance meeting at a poetry reading that helped shape her future.

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

 

Professor Jenny Higham is undoubtedly a leading light - the first woman to serve as Principal of St George’s, University of London, an appointment which she took up in November 2015, she was also the first woman to be elected chair of the Medical Schools Council in August 2016.

An honorary consultant at St. George’s Trust and a visiting professor at Imperial College London, Jenny was the recipient of the Women of the Future Mentor of the Year Award in 2011.

Kim and Jenny spoke about finding her path in the medical profession, overcoming challenges and obstacles in her way, imposter syndrome, lack lustre career advice and the influence of 'Fred the Head'.

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For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk 

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