To celebrate this week’s International Women’s Day and inspired by our own passionate and driven entrepreneur MD Sarah Whelan, we’ve come up with a list of 12 more inspirational women from these lands. We’ve selected them from a long list of achievers from the world of business, sport, the arts, fashion, music, tv and film and the monarchy (no prizes for guessing who).

If you’d like to nominate any other deserving women (let’s keep it to women still with us rather than from history) please let us know – it would be nice to get the list up to at least 20 or why not 50 names? Come on folks get nominating….


Incredible singer, Oscar wining songwriter, joint record holder for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night – she won six in 2012, equalling Beyoncé’s 2010 record.

Ellie Simmonds

Inspirational gold medal winning British Paralympian swimmer, recipient of the OBE and the youngest ever recipient of the MBE – she was 14 years old when she received the honour.

Dame Judi Dench

Hugely admired Oscar-winning actress with a career spanning over 50 years (she made her theatre debut in 1957), a fellow of the British Film Institute, supporter of the arts.

 Karren Brady

Businesswomen, the first woman to direct a premier league football club -Birmingham City FC – became the youngest managing director of a UK PLC, holds non-executive directorships at many organisations, author, TV personality and Baroness.

J.K. Rowling

Author, founder of the Volant Charitable Trust, committed charity campaigner. Billionaire.

Nigella Lawson

Food writer and TV presenter, campaigner for the Lavender Trust. Incredibly smart and she brings something to food preparation that Tom Kerridge will never have.

Jessica Ennis

World and European heptathlon gold medallist, recipient of the MBE, Olympic gold medallist for the heptathlon and ‘face’ of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Laura Kuenssberg

Became the BBC political editor in 2015 ahead of a long list of male counterparts. Strong and tigerish in the interview but incredibly well-liked and respected.

Amy Fearn

Became the first official Football League referee in 2010 and remains highly-respected for her professional skills in a very male-oriented world.

Mary Portas

Television presenter, retail adviser, global retail ambassador for Save the Children, government advisor on the future of Britain’s high street.

Jo Malone

Founder of beauty brands Jo Malone and Jo Loves. Beautiful products and a beautiful personality.

Queen Elizabeth II (of course)

The Queen of the United Kingdom and the constitutional monarch of 15 other sovereign states, Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Loved and respected for her serenity and sense of duty.


So that’s our list. I’m sure you can think of more fantastic achieving inspirational women!