We asked ElectraLink staff to share their female heroes with us and explain why these women influence and inspire them in many aspects of their life and work.
Stuart Lacey on Margrethe Vestager
“Known as ‘the rich world’s most powerful trustbuster,’ Margrethe Vestager is a formidable force in European competition policy. Margrethe takes on the world’s largest companies, many of them in tech, and holds them to account, ensuring they pay their tax bills and play fairly for the benefit of their customers and the countries they operate in.
Many would shy away from challenging global companies worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but Margrethe’s determination and bravery shows how much we need women like her in powerful roles. At ElectraLink, Margrethe’s lead can teach us a lot in our mission to deliver vibrant competition in the energy sector which is good for consumers and corporations alike.” – Stuart Lacey, Chief Executive
Paul Gath on Annie Leibovitz
“I’ll stick with my photography muses and say that Annie Leibovitz has inspired me tremendously. San Francisco’s flower power era was the perfect setting for her to develop her style and build her career, but she went beyond that. Annie made portraiture what it is today, looking into the personality of her subjects, of course many of them were celebrities, and finding the perfect poses, angles and lighting to express it. Essentially, she showed the emotional human behind the famous exterior.
Annie was also the first woman to display an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in the ‘90s and that’s just testament to how talented she is and how influential she has been to photographers from all over.” – Paul Gath, CTO and Director of Operations
Dan Hopkinson on Beryl Burton
“British cycling may be dominated today by Froome and Cavendish but arguably one of the greatest British cyclists of all time is Beryl Burton. The Yorkshire local didn’t just dominate the world of women’s cycling throughout the 1960s but effectively held the men’s 12-hour time trial record as well. In 1967, she cycled 227.25 miles in 12 hours, famously overtaking her male rival, Mike McNamara, offering him a liquorice allsort as she passed him. It wasn’t until 1969 that a man beat the record and no woman has bettered it to this day.
Burton’s dominance was by no means diluted on the international scene either, winning the World Road Race Championships in 1960 and 1967, as well as five Individual Pursuit World Championships between 1959 and 1966. This was all achieved without support from Lottery funding or £30m from Team Sky. Beryl won through sheer hard work and talent – it never gets easier, you just get faster.” – Dan Hopkinson, Director of Data and Transformation
Gill Nowell on Jackie Seddon
“Now retired, Jackie was CEO of Envirolink and responsible for accelerating the growth of the energy and environmental technologies sector in England’s northwest. As a mentor, boss and friend, Jackie inspired me to achieve as a fellow non-technical woman in a very technically-minded world.” – Gill Nowell, DSO Lead
Rosella Jones on Adrienne Kelbie
“Adrienne is the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s first female CEO and has been a fantastic driving force in addressing the gender imbalance in nuclear energy. She is an absolutely awe-inspiring speaker who advocates for diversity across all vectors which makes the industry stronger. She uses her position to demand better representation for women across the industry.
I had the pleasure to see Adrienne, a young female CEO in an industry dominated by grey-haired men, give a speech, where she shared her commitment to equality and unapologetic attitude to addressing the tough questions. She is a proponent of the idea that we all have a commitment to address equality which encouraged me not only to be myself, but also to speak up when I believe we can do more to improve equality.” – Rosella Jones, Market Transformation Manager
Michelle Simpson on Margaret Thatcher
“Maggie Thatcher inspired me as a teenager and throughout my early working years because she had a bountiful supply of energy, real determination and ‘grit’. As a young female manager working in the construction industry at that time, which was extremely challenging, I felt she was a great role model.
I think we can easily relate this to the work we do at ElectraLink.” – Michelle Simpson, Head of Services (Governance Services)