On October, 31st, 2012 seventy fabulous females gathered in The Groucho Club in London’s Soho for the very first celebration of Ladies Who Impress. Lawyers and nutritionists, bankers and writers, media professionals and academics, they were all equally curious, and they were about to be impressed…
Ladies Who Impress series started with Mission Impossible, an evening encouraging women to be inspired by the extraordinary achievements of ordinary women and to build up confidence to embark on even the most audacious missions of their lives in the future. In an intimate setting of The Groucho Club, the guests met three impressive women:
Sarah Hyndman is a creative polymath. In 2003 she founded the graphic design agency With Relish which works with clients from the arts to corporate sectors on a wide range of projects. Sarah teaches creative workshops, organises exhibitions, has launched a creative collaboration project with photographers, illustrators and anybody else who has the enthusiasm to have a go. Sarah continuously challenges herself with new ideas such as the Olympic Logo A Day project (for which she was interviewed by the New York Times) and The Random Project 2012 which is a growing collection of postcards documenting London in 2012. When Sarah isn’t busy being creative, she can be found kickboxing in Shoreditch or off having an adventure somewhere around the world.
Marianne Elliott is an Associate Director of the National Theatre in London. She is best known for the play War Horse, which she co-directed for the National Theatre, the West End and Broadway and for which she received the Tony Award for Best Direction of Play. She then directed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a brilliant production based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon, which made its way from the National to the West End and Broadway.
Before her tenure at the National Theatre, Marianne was an Associate Director at the Royal Court, where her productions included Stoning Mary, Notes on Falling Leaves, The Sugar Syndrome and Local. Other select theatre includes productions for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester where she directed such plays as Design for Living and As You Like It; Much Ado About Nothing set in Cuba for the RSC and The Little Foxes at the Donmar. In an interview she gave to The Telegraph in 2010, Marianne said: “Theatre requires a huge amount of energy. So it has to be brilliant, I think. It has to be life-changing. Or what’s the point?”
Hanna Sykulska-Lawrence is an engineer, a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Physics and a bit of a genius. In 2008 Hanna took part in an exciting project as an Instrument Downlink Engineer at NASA mission control station in Arizona. She was the only female engineer in her team and the youngest in a group of British scientists to take part in NASA’s Phoenix mission to Mars. She was the first person to see new images from Mars every day, produced using a piece of hardware 150 million miles away that she herself had designed and made. Hanna was selected as the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2008 at the age of 26. Hanna is currently continuing space research at the University of Oxford. She is actively involved in promoting engineering to young people, breaking the stereotype of this profession being dominated by men in blue overalls. Hanna’s favourite colour is pink.
In addition to being a fun occasion, the event raised £800 for Huntington’s Disease Association, a charity contributing to research and supporting families, affected by Huntington’s disease.
“I just wanted to thank you for putting on such a great event. You were the perfect host and all three women were so inspiring. I came away from it feeling really happy, confident and ready to take on the world, so thank you! “
“Massive congratulations on last night! Your first event was a triumph. I really thought it was fabulous, and there was such an inspiring buzz in the room with a gathering of like-minded females. Can’t wait for the next one.”
“I’ll be thinking for days, but I think one thing I took away from it was that ‘you can do anything, but you don’t have to do everything’.”
“Great night, many thanks. It was good to attend such an inspiring event and also to attend an event with lots of lovely inspiring ladies and not an annoying power woman in sight!”
“You were a brilliant hostess and the interviews were great. Very well done for organising such a great event and thank you, I felt very inspired!”