I’m not a huge fan of “best of”-styled lists myself and it’s not just because I’m unlikely to find myself on one. But I often think that it’s the people who I admire that are the ones who usually go unrecognised.
So I’ve been following with interest the blogs, tweets and conversations going on around BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Power List, which closes for nominations this Friday (30 November). The programme is inviting listeners to nominate the individuals who they feel have shaped the way we live today. Which women have the greatest impact on British politics, society, culture and the economy?
An all-female panel made up of individuals including the journalist Eve Pollard, the politician Oona King and the crime writer Val McDermid will discuss the merits of those nominated to compile the list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. Find out more about the list and contribute to the conversations on Twitter using #whpowerlist.
Although I’m not quite convinced by the use of the title ‘Power List’, Woman’s Hour has got me thinking about inspiring and influential female third sector leaders who I admire and follow their work with interest.
I honestly don’t know where I’d begin. There are of course women like Martina Milburn who I used to work with at the BBC when she was working as chief executive at Children in Need and who has shown leadership and vision in her work at The Prince’s Trust. There’s Camila Batmanghelidjh from Kids Company, who never fails to inspire me when I hear her speak. Or other social entrepreneurs like Karen Mattison and Emma Stewart, the team behind Women Like Us and now Timewise Jobs.
Then there are women with less media profile – although no less influential: human dynamos like Modupe Debbie Ariyo, the chief executive of the charity Afruca. I’ve blogged about her before and the impact she has had on issues around trafficking are impressive. And Ros Spearing, founder and director of Ebony Horse Club. They’d make my list – but would they make Woman’s Hour‘s?
And then of course there are some of our third sector rising star leaders like Lilly Lapena of MyBnk, Lucy Buck of Childs i Foundation, Charlotte Hill, chief executive of UK Youth – all doing incredible work in their respective areas.
I could go on.
Whatever the results of the Woman’s Hour Power List – our female leaders in the charity sector should be celebrated. So let’s get our own list started. Which female third sector leaders would make your list and why?