They come from every sphere of business: computing, finance, engineering, retail, marketing, media and the law – and they’re all making big waves. Take Alix Pryde, chief advisor to the BBC’s COO Caroline Thompson. She holds a doctorate in physics from Cambridge, became the youngest board member at the Wireless Group and is now responsible for helping steer the broadcaster through the choppy waters of the modern media world.
Someone else at the media’s cutting edge is Paulina Bozek, executive producer at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and one of very few women at a senior level in this industry. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she was awarded the first ever Bafta Interactive New Talent Award in 2004 for her work on the successful PlayStation music game (and MT favourite) SingStar. ‘When I came into Sony five years ago,’ Bozek says, ‘it was pretty unique to be a woman producer. But Sony was welcoming and wanted to get more women involved because the industry is trying to attract a new audience. Games have grown beyond boys’ toys.’
Another one of our 35s to be flying high in a man’s world is Claire Carr, a civil engineer who helped pull off the much-lauded redevelopment of St Pancras train station in London. Carr was a senior project manager on the £600m revamp, where she managed 34 engineers, 37 subcontractors and 480 operatives. Conscious of the construction sector’s dire lack of women at senior levels, she plays an active role as a science and engineering ambassador, working with young people and teachers in London to give the industry a more female-friendly face. Which it definitely needs…
Lawyers are also well-represented on our 2008 list. Shaheed Fatima, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, is a leading light in human rights law. Educated at Oxford and Harvard universities, she was named as Liberty/Justice Human Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2007. Another barrister (though in a very different field) is Melissa Lesson, a partner at law firm Mishcon de Reya (most famous for representing Diana, Princess of Wales). Lesson is a specialist in family law, advising in particular on separation and divorce.
Or take Shelley White at New Square Chambers, who, as an elected member of the Bar Council, campaigned to save wigs and gowns for barristers. Remarkably, she also finds time to play pool for the England Ladies’ team and has won world, European and national championships. But one thing’s for sure: like all the corporate women on this year’s list, her career success certainly isn’t down to pot luck.
To learn more about these remarkable women, click HERE to see the full list or HERE to see our behind-the-scenes video of this year’s cover shoot. You can also read the full feature either online or as a (gloriously technicoloured) PDF.
In today's bulletin:
Sorrell goes hostile after TNS knock-back
Trouble building in the housing sector
We ain't Trading with the Enemy, says Bud
BBC pays price for big rises
'35 Under 35' 2008: The corporates