Interview with Dame Inga Beale

April 12, 2018

Businesswoman Dame Inga Beale was the first woman to be made CEO of insurance giant Lloyds of London where, for over 320 years men have been at the helm. First Women asks Inga for her learnt insights regarding risk, ambition and what a woman has bought to the modern incarnation of an organisation over three centuries old. I’m not sure I was directly inspired by anyone when I was growing up But what I do know is that my home environment was very safe and free. Being enabled to follow my own read more

Interview with Louise Goodman

March 2, 2018

The first woman to take part in a Formula One pit-stop and also the first to present the motorsport on television, Louise Goodman expresses her surprise that anyone should think that the only women in Formula One are ‘the dolly birds parading round the grid’. Maybe I’m a bit naïve but I’m very surprised when people say motor racing is a man’s sport It is a sport and it is a business and fundamentally both of these things are non-gender specific. In this day and age most women own read more

Interview with Lieutenant Colonel Lucy Giles

January 24, 2018

The First Woman to be made commander at Sandhurst New College Military Academy in its 300-year history. Lieutenant Colonel Lucy Giles celebrates the five women that inspired her to her achievement.   My Mother ‘She is the constant, stable presence. Whether you do something utterly stupid or totally amazing, she’ll say: ‘don’t worry, I know who you are and I love you unconditionally’. Mum was a nurse and I remember the first time I saw her resuscitate someone on a bus when were read more

Double Interview with Sally Kettle and her Mum

December 8, 2017

Sally Kettle is an ocean rower and was the First Woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean twice from East to West. She made one of these extraordinary journeys with her mum. We interviewed Sally and her mum about the lessons learned during sea-bound solitude and managing frustration when you’re in Florida (but should actually be in Barbados.) Sally Kettle: ‘Therapeutic strops’ are helpful I am rubbish at managing frustration. It is one of the things I learnt about myself on the voyage. I am read more

Interview with Air Vice-Marshall Elaine West CBE

October 13, 2017

RAF officer Air Vice-Marshall Elaine West CBE is the First Woman in history to become a military two-star officer. She joined the RAF at 17 years old and now holds rank equivalent to an Army Major General or a Navy Rear Admiral. She is adamant that the only people to be surprised at her promotion were the public – and that for the MOD it was ‘business as usual!’ She shares with us what keeps a woman holding the highest rank in the modern day RAF sane day to day. Honesty is the best way to read more

Interview with Michelle McDowell

September 14, 2017

 ‘Engineering offers all the opportunities anyone could possibly want – to women as well as men,’ explains Michelle McDowell MBE, the first woman to be made president of ACE (The Association for Consultancy and Engineering). In its 100+ year history, no female has chaired this organisation which is the business voice for engineering companies responsible for  delivering, and maintaining economic and social infrastructure UK-wide. As well as being instrumental in the construction and read more

Interview with Elspeth Beard

August 21, 2017

At the age of twenty-three, Elspeth Beard became the first woman to motorcycle around the world. 35,000 miles with just a tent, some tools, her savings and a ton of determination, she reveals what she learnt about herself on the road. You don’t need to be motivated by a grand agenda ‘I’d been biking for years. I’d just been dumped and I’d got a third in my architecture degree. All I knew is that I had to get away!  Six months later I was in Australia and thought, ‘I may as well read more

Interview with Flight Lieutenant Leanne Martin

April 20, 2017

Leanne Martin is the RAF’s First Woman to become Improvised Explosive Device Disposal qualified. Physically and mentally demanding, Leanne’s expertise lies in dealing with potentially explosive devices within the context of international terrorist organizations and criminal gangs. So, what is it that keeps her connected to normality during her extraordinary day job? Stay grounded What’s the strangest thing I’ve ever thought before walking towards a potentially hazardous item? ‘What read more

Interview with Chris Duffin

February 22, 2017

Chris Duffin was the First Woman Governor Grade at HMP Strangeways, the notorious, category-B male prison.  She talks to First Women about what she learnt on the job from prisoners, peers and the public reaction to her posting. ‘When I started at Strangeways, my Mentor was the wonderful Peter Pope. I was very lucky as he was one of the most rebellious governors I have ever met. He always said, ‘its easier to obtain forgiveness than permission’ whenever I got anxious about procedure. read more

Interview with Deta Hedman

January 21, 2017

Currently ranked World Number 2 by the World Darts Federation and the First Woman to beat a male player in a major televised darts tournament, Deta Hedman AKA ‘The Dark Destroyer’ explains how to stay cool when a male competitor ‘fist pumps in your face’ and tensions run high on the mixed competition oche… ‘Try not to approach your passion in terms of winning or losing’ I think about a darts match simply as an enjoyable experience, not as something I have to win or that I might read more