It’s International Women’s Day. This month’s contributors to Director magazine name their female role models and the one thing they’d like to ask them
Sarah Brown, founder, Theirworld
Graça Machel [pictured, above], who is always called Nelson Mandela’s wife, but was an education minister and wrote a report about the impact of conflict on children that underpins a lot of today’s thinking. I know from asking [what keeps her going]. It’s the next challenge – as long as there’s a child who doesn’t have what they deserve in life, you have to get up and do it. @SarahBrownUK
Nick Roylance, co-director, Genesis Publishing
Yoko Ono is such an interesting and innovative artist. She’s not had the most favourable reactions but she’s not dented by that at all. She’s just so positive in her outlook and in her work, so she’s a great example of strength of character. My question to her is: how does she remain that way when the political outlook is a little bleak?
Navina Bartlett, founder, Coconut Chilli
I’m a great admirer of Indira Gandhi, ex-prime minister of India, who ruled during an incredibly tense era. Her quote – “I am in no sense a feminist, but I believe in women being able to do everything” – influenced my business journey. I would ask: does she believe women will have truly equal opportunities before the end of this century?
Troy Baker, managing director, Design Reality
Corny, I know, but my wife and business partner Caroline Baker is the woman who has inspired me most. She has been the calm sounding board to my manic, fast-paced mind. As polar opposites we work together well to find the best path forward. I can ask her anything at any time, but I always ask myself: what if we had not met?
Stephen Castell, chairman, Castell Consulting
Ada, the Countess of Lovelace, who was the very first computer programmer and the daughter of Lord Byron. If I had the chance, I’d like to ask her two questions: first, are you surprised that the coming of the robots and the age of artificial intelligence took so long to arrive? And second, what was your dad really like?
Jane Dumeresque, CEO, Folk2Folk
I think the Queen has done a really good job. Her diplomacy and how she’s dealt so serenely with all the issues that have come up during her reign is very impressive. I would ask her how she is going to cope with Donald Trump when she meets him. I think she’ll be calm and she’ll be charming – that’s her job and she does it very well.
International Women’s Day
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