For more than 20 years, Management Today has championed women in business through its 35 Women Under 35 list. We are proud to reveal the 2023 winners.
This year's list features a mix of impressive, successful women in senior leadership positions across all areas of the business world, from investing and climate technology to wellness and beauty and healthcare advertising. Each of them has achieved extraordinary things in a remarkably short period of time – and still have more to accomplish.
Earlier this week, the winners took part in our photoshoot, at the library of the University Women's Club in Mayfair. Read their impressive achievements below, and head here to read their thoughts on the future of business.
Winners, A - G
Rebecca Adair (33)
Founder and client services director, Kemosabe
Adair has grown the marketing agency she co-founded from three employees to 15 in its first three years and doubled its revenue year on year. She developed the agency’s credentials in the social impact space - it now works with Social Enterprise UK, the UK’s biggest network of social enterprises, and the US-based Thankful Organisation. She launched For Good, a publication which highlights sustainable initiatives and tangible outcomes from high-profile brands and innovators. She also spearheaded a two-year journey to certifying Kemosabe as a B Corp, which it achieved in December 2022.
Caroline Archer (32)
Group operations manager, TEG Europe
Through her networking and client service skills, Archer developed a new revenue stream for the entertainment agency’s event planning services that generated more than £500,000 in revenue over two years. During the pandemic, Archer ran outdoor events and managed several digital broadcasts of live bands. She was an integral part of the relaunch of TEG's events at entertainment venues and built relationships with new licensing authorities to help drive record profit conversion and £2m in EBITDA. During the pandemic, Archer also launched Neighbourhood Kitchen & Bedrooms, a rotating street food kitchen and guest house near Cardiff city centre.
Sophie Attwood (31)
Managing director, Sophie Attwood Communications
Specialising in the beauty, wellness and health space, Sophie Attwood Communications has seen profits increase by 400% in the past two years - thanks to Attwood and her team of 12 working across the UK, US and UAE. She has worked to change industry legislation surrounding dermal fillers, helping to impose an age limit of 18. The agency won Best Clinic Support Partner at the Aesthetics Awards this year. Attwood is working on a book to be published in October 2023.
Rachel Bains (34)
Head of strategy and campaigns, Chime Agency
Bains’ successful strategies for a number of founder-led agencies led to Chime beating its annual turnover target by more than 120% in its first year of trading. She is an advocate for diversity in a male-dominated field and through her role as a mentor at the British Interactive Media Association and position on the Bridge Council, she supports other women and underrepresented groups, such as asylum seekers, with finding digital marketing experiences. She is the winner of the Digital Women and Digital Leader of the Year awards in 2022, as well as the IPSE Best New Freelancer Award.
Claire Barnett (32)
Executive director, UN Women UK
Barnett has grown the organisation's income by 50% year-on-year twice and has mobilised funds for crises such as Afghanistan, Ukraine and Pakistan. She is responsible for spearheading its flagship “Safe Spaces Now” campaign to transform public space to prevent sexual harassment and violence. Initially launched in 2017, the campaign brought together 10,000 women, girls and marginalised people during the pandemic to co-create more than 150 solutions to make public spaces safe. This project has impacted five pieces of national legislation, which has led to significant funds to tackle the issue.
Meagan Bickerstaff (34)
Head of growth marketing, History Hit
Bickerstaff leads the growth marketing team at streaming service History Hit. Her work over the past year, which included launching the service on Amazon Prime Video, grew the team and doubled subscription growth. She champions women in the workplace through her community of more than 2,000 women brought together by her blog and social media channels, which aim to provide support and information to working mothers. This was inspired by her own experiences of suffering from postnatal depression, which turned her long-term career goals upside down. Alongside her role, she also supports women in the workplace through the Futures network and mentorship in Bloom UK.
Chloe Bodley (34)
Operations director, Pertemps Professional Recruitment
Bodley manages the operations and support functions of £45m Pertemps Professional Recruitment and is responsible for high-level strategy and the relationship with the board. She spearheaded the opening of Pertemps’ first Australian office in Sydney and is currently launching a new permanent division. Bodley is the brains behind a “Love Your Worker” campaign which ensures candidates are offered extra support throughout the recruitment process, from first contact to mentoring and advanced career development.
Zoe Bowen-Jones (31)
Senior insight director, Wavemaker Global
Leading insights and contributing to multimillion-pound client wins is all part of Bowen-Jones’ day job, but she plays a significant role in LGBT+ representation. She is a founding member of Unite, parent company WPP’s LGBT+ community and co-authored Beyond the Rainbow, an industry-first study into the future of LGBT+ marketing. The study assesses the relationship between LGBT+ consumers and media/brands, which underpinned responses in two Wavemaker global pitch responses in 2023, worth a combined $500m. She was shortlisted for the Making Media Matter award at the 2023 Campaign Female Frontiers Awards.
Hannah Campbell (33)
Co-founder and managing director, One Twelve Agency
Frustrated with marketing campaigns that lacked authentic representation and nuance, Campbell launched One Twelve Agency in 2022 to connect with the Gen Z demographic. A seasoned entrepreneur with two businesses already to her name, Campbell built up a varied roster of clients in less than 12 months, including luxury whisky brand Chivas Regal and Amazon Prime Video. Campbell and her co-founder have already hit their revenue target of £500,000 and are now expanding their team of two. Alongside her role, Campbell has partnered with Croydon College and Coulsdon Sixth Form College to deliver talks and run workshops on how to access the creative industries.
Felicity Emmett (35)
Chief strategy officer, Fable Data
Emmett joined Fable Data in pre-pandemic 2020 and has since enabled the business to become a market leader. As the right hand of the chief executive, she has helped redefine the company vision and strategy and manage the strategy and planning division. Her delivery of the 2023 annual plan was pivotal in securing Series B funding from Octopus Ventures in December 2022, despite strong industry and fundraising headwinds. She was awarded Leader of the Year in 2022 at Fable’s Annual Culture Awards and given the Collaboration Award in 2021.
Francesca Everson (32)
Head of strategic planning, VCCP Health
As one of the youngest heads of strategy in the healthcare advertising industry, and one of a minority of women, Everson has led the business to deliver six pitch wins, three of which were with major global healthcare brands, and delivered an industry-leading campaign for pharmaceutical company Teva - all while navigating an ovarian cancer diagnosis at the age of 31.
Lemon Fuller (33)
Founder and chief executive, Lemonade Dolls
Driven by the sexism she’s faced in her career in entertainment and fashion, Fuller launched her underwear brand Lemonade Dolls four years ago - with no prior business experience. The brand serves to combat the issues in the fashion and lingerie industry: objectifying women, un-inclusive sizing and male-dominated companies. She launched a partnership with charity Chose Love in 2022 and has since donated more than 5,000 pairs of underwear to female refugees in Greece, raised more than £3,500 in donations and held a sponsored charity Spin class event and ‘Tit Talk’ at Choose Love’s HQ in Carnaby.
Jaeger Glucina (34)
Chief of staff, Luminance
Since her appointment as chief of staff in 2022 following her maternity leave, Glucina has focused on advocating for the use of AI and how it can be a benefit for lawyers. She has spoken at major industry conferences, such as the British Legal Technology Forum and Future Lawyer Week in London, and Legal Week in New York. She has spoken to national outlets such as City A.M. and the Financial Times about the importance of AI adoption in the criminal justice system. Glucina was shortlisted for Woman of the Year, Role Model of the Year and Team Leader of the Year at Computing’s Women in Tech Excellence Awards in 2020.
Winners, J - R
Siân Johal (32)
Solutions consultant, OMG UK
Initially joining OMG UK as a senior digital planner, Johal developed a new division to solve client challenges. By changing roles to grow its Google Marketing Platform specialism and joining OMG’s Accelerate programme for future leaders to present her ideas, the team brought in £423,000 additional revenue over the last year. She has also helped John Lewis and C4 retain £105m worth of billings during the pitch process and led John Lewis’ custom machine learning strategies.
Elizabeth Jones (33)
Managing director, With Public Relations
Jones became the MD of With PR when she was just 29. In her first 18 months, she oversaw the delivery of a 32% growth in revenue to £1.86m in the year to April 2020. She spearheaded a campaign to strengthen client relations, which delivered 52% of retained clients spending on incremental work. Her dedication to enhance a collaborative culture has achieved 80% retention in 2022. She has recently been admitted to the Taylor Bennett Foundation and CIPR 2023 BME Reverse Mentoring Programme, designed to increase awareness of diversity challenges.
Lea Karam (27)
Consulting director, Behave
Beirut-born Karam has been central to the development of Behave, Europe’s first behavioural consultancy in media, through her work at media agency Total Media. She has overseen the growth of the team from three people to now more than 20, crafted bespoke UX strategies using AI and contributed to TikTok's acquisition as a client, heading up its marketing and product strategy across the EU. Outside of her role, she has mentored young Lebanese women in their early education and career, landing them internships around the world. She is currently planning external training schemes that develop practical applications of behavioural science in media.
Emma Knowles (31)
Head of engineering, Asahi
Knowles became a STEM ambassador in 2016 and a chartered engineer in 2017. She is part of a group that created a youth council in Asahi Europe & International, to hold the executive committee accountable for their pledges on people and planet and was selected as a One Young World attendee and ambassador at Asahi Europe & International. When she was 26 years old, she project managed a factory build in 11 months. She was selected to be part of the IChemE Sustainability Committee, to represent FMCG industries in this forum.
Caroline Marshall (28)
Marshall has led a pro-bono partnership between Schillings and the UK Safer Internet Center, to improve the Online Safety Bill's accessibility. She distilled the bill from 260 pages to three pages of clear, accessible language and presented it to MPs and Lords at the Houses of Parliament. It has since been published to promote Safer Internet Day 2023. She was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on the Online Safety Bill, together with MPs, members of the House of Lords, and industry leaders. She was promoted to the role of associate within Schillings in recognition of her contributions to client-facing and pro-bono projects.
Deirdre McGettrick (35)
Co-founder and director, Ufurnish
With 10 years spent working in investment banking under her belt, McGerrick launched furniture comparison site Ufurnish in a bid to make online furniture shopping easier. It has since become the largest search and discovery platform for home furniture and furnishings, with products from more than 100 retailers, such as John Lewis, Wayfair and Dunelm. To date it has delivered £5m worth of sales to retailers, 500 million brand impressions and signed up more than 100,000 members. She was named New Entrepreneur of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards and received the Tech Nation Rising Star award.
Michelle Pearce-Burke (33)
Co-founder and chief strategy officer, Wealthify
Despite losing her savings to a failed high-risk biotech company at the age of 11, Pearce-Burke’s passion for investment never waned. She launched investment app Wealthify after becoming frustrated with the lack of investing opportunities for people with average sums to invest, particularly for young people and women. Wealthify launched to the public in April 2016 and has more than 110,000 active customers. Users can choose from varying levels of risk, from cautious to adventurous, and Wealthify will build an investment plan to suit them. Wealthify won the YourMoney Investment Award 2023 for Best Overall Investment Provider, Best Junior ISA four years running at the Personal Finance Awards, and Small to Medium Wealth Manager of the Year at MoneyAge Awards 2022.
Lara Pedley (27)
Global managing director, ISC Group
Early on in her corporate finance career Pedley met Barbara Schonhofe MBE, founder of Insurance Supper Club, a private members’ group of global senior leaders trying to address the lack of gender representation in insurance companies. Their partnership led to the creation of ISC Group, a global organisation to support women in their insurance career. Pedley has been pivotal in evolving the business, including extending workshops to online and offering webinars to allow ISC to reach a more global audience.
Camille Petre (33)
Chief financial officer, BeZero Carbon
Petre has accelerated BeZero’s growth to become one of the world’s leading climate tech companies. She was pivotal in helping close a $50m investment to secure the biggest Series B raise in the UK climate tech sector in 2022 and has pioneered the Women in Carbon network, an initiative designed to empower and amplify the voices of women in the carbon industry. She hosted its inaugural event “Carbon: pioneering a rapidly evolving market” last December, which featured leading founders, investors, academics, and executives from major corporations, and was the first industry event fully led by women.
Kristina Rabecaite (29)
CEO and founder, PPAYA
Rabecaite launched management platform PPAYA in 2021, to sell renewable energy in a more efficient and profitable way. Rabecaite has discussed key topics within the energy market on BBC News, GB News, Sky News and Radio 5 Live over the past 2 years. She was awarded the Start Up of the Year award at Net Zero Energy Transition Awards in 2022 and was named in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe Class of 2022.
Alice Roper (35)
Managing director, Talentful
Roper joined Talentful in 2016 and has progressed from head of talent through to managing director. Under her leadership, the company has organically doubled in size every year, growing from less than 20 employees to more than 350 people. Headcount rose by 155% from December 2020 to December 2021. She has built a global network across teams in the UK, Berlin and the US and, despite Covid, managed to increase revenue by 157% from the previous year. Roper played a key role in Talentful securing its largest contract with a global tech business in 2022, generating more than a million dollars a month.
Samantha Rutter-Bryant (34)
CEO, Open Study College
Rutter-Bryant launched Open Study College at the tender age of 19 after spotting a gap in the market for accessible and fully-supported distance learning. The business offers more than 700 courses and over 110,000 people across the globe have since enrolled. The workforce is 60% female, with 50% of the senior management team being female as well as more than 70% of learners. She now hopes to grow the business to £12m by 2024. In her spare time, Rutter-Bryant volunteers with smaller charities and in December 2022, launched a drive to collect hundreds of items to deliver to local food banks and donated gifts to the elderly who would be spending Christmas alone.
Suzannah Ryabchuk (33)
Chief executive, Breakthrough Global
Over the last decade, Ryabchuk has worked directly with CEOs from some of the biggest names in business, including LVMH, EY, Cereal Partners, JDE, Birds Eye, and Ferrero. Her agency, Breakthrough Global, works with Fortune 500 companies to recover from business decline or stagnation. So far, the company has delivered almost $20bn of shareholder value. Ryabchuk is also the host of the 3 Lessons from Breakthrough Leaders podcast.
Winners, S - Z
Simone Sargeant (32)
Digital commerce director, Diageo GB
Self-described as “unapologetically curious and willing to challenge the status quo”, Sargeant joined the company in 2022 and has since led Diageo’s e-commerce agenda with all major customers in GB, the company’s strategy with Amazon, its biggest e-commerce customer in Europe, as well as Diageo’s development of new business across e-commerce. She has also been involved in the digital transformation of two Diageo direct-to-consumer websites and helped launch the Bar.com marketplace. She is the founder of the Black FMCG Collective, growing it from a WhatsApp group to a cross-industry support network for black professionals within the FMCG sector, financially backed by Diageo.
Hannah Spencer (34)
Head of finance transformation, News UK
Spencer joined News UK during a challenging period for the business, but within three years, she built one of the highest performing teams, growing from six to 30 people. She has since achieved a cost saving target of 10% and is now responsible for the company’s multi-million pound business systems project, a three-year project with more than 100 people involved. She has taken on project management and change management training to help her with this. Outside of work, Spencer works with Fertility Matters at Work and has helped establish webinars, panels, education, training and policies.
Sophie Strong (32)
Managing partner of media experience, PHD
Strong joined media agency PHD in 2022, and is the youngest leadership board member and oversees a department of 100 people. She has used her experience in transformation to deliver business results and provide thought leadership within the industry through her column in New Media Age. Recently, she has built a tool that highlights the gaps in a client’s media setup which prevent them from driving growth. The tool generated £40,000 of incremental revenue with its first client and has been rolled out across the agency. Strong has won more than 20 industry awards and has featured in Media Week’s 30 under 30.
Pamela Uddin (32)
Managing partner, React
Pamela Uddin left her career in marketing at blue-chips brands in 2019 to launch the digital agency React with her husband. Four years later, the business already employs 30 permanent staff members and has an annual turnover surpassing £4m. React has turbo-charged the growth of its clients’ social media profiles, including Toppik’s Instagram community by 147% in a year, Childs Farm’s audience by 25% in just six months, Charles Worthington’s Instagram community by 53% in eight months and Trojan Condoms’ TikTok audience to 122% growth in just three months of managing its account. Uddin attributes her 50%+ neurodivergent team as one of the key reasons for their creative campaign success and believes her dyslexia and speech impediment are her “superpowers”.
Athina Van Melkebeke (32)
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis
Van Melkebeke became one of the youngest partners in her field when she was promoted at law firm Kirkland & Ellis at the age of 30. During the pandemic, she advised Bain Capital and Cinven on their CHF 4.2 billion acquisition of Lonza Specialty Ingredients (now Arxada), a global provider of chemicals for microbial control solutions including sanitisers. She also represented Bain Capital on more than 15 other completed transactions, with a total value of over €10 billion. Recently, she advised cyber security company NortonLifeLock on the unconditional global approval of its $25 billion acquisition of Avast. Van Melkebeke is a contributing author to the UN’s Women, Business and the Law 2022 report on laws that discriminate against women.
Phoebe Waters (31)
Director, J.S. Held
Waters’ strong beliefs in female equality have propelled her to both her role at US consultancy firm J.S. Held, but also chair of The Female Fraud Forum, a multi-disciplinary non-for-profit organisation with a network of around 1,500 members and supporters in the civil and criminal fraud, asset recovery and investigations sector. Its aim is to spearhead the fight for change so that gender equality becomes ingrained in the workplace and secured for future generations. In her role as chair, she has led its re-brand, new website launch, and update of the organisation’s mission statement. Her continued efforts have helped raise thousands of pounds for female-focused charities in the last year.
Ellie Wilson (31)
Wilson launched virtual assistant platform Virtalent at 22 years old, to champion female talent and provide personal assistance and marketing support to business owners. She manages a team of 186 women who, for whatever reason, are unable to enter the workforce in the traditional sense, such as stay-at-home mothers, military spouses, carers or retirees. The company has reported 368% growth over the last two years.
Anna Younger (35)
Group head of innovation and creativity, Instinctif Partners
Described as a “complete powerhouse”, Younger is the creator of a multi-faceted digital training programme to support upskilling across the company’s consultants and has implemented a range of cultural initiatives to help consultants connect in new ways. She convinced the board to pledge 14% of Instinctif’s EBITDA towards corporate giving and 4% of payroll to be invested into training. She launched The Golden Pavement Society, a peer-to-peer mentoring group and campaigned to change the company’s shared parental leave policy. She has also launched a junior board called the ‘Future Forum’ and was instrumental in delivering a five-year roadmap for sustainable growth.
Jenny Zhang (33)
Partner and strategy director, Tong
With more than a decade of experience, Zhang’s restructuring of marketing agency Tong’s professional services led to the company becoming the largest China-focused agency based in Europe. She champions representation for women and minorities, hosting forums and writing articles to drive positive change. She has launched Tong’s Spring Creators programme, an annual grant dedicated to supporting recent graduates. She has been listed on The Dots International Women's Day 100 Rising Stars 2021.