Grow Exeter’s 100 Most Influential Women; One Year Anniversary

Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson

A year ago today, Grow marked the hundred-year anniversary of women obtaining the vote by holding an event to celebrate Exeter’s 100 Most Influential Women.

With over 500 nominations, the panel had the tough task of whittling the hopefuls down to just one hundred and inviting them to an evening of celebration at Deer Park Country House and Hotel.

Women have truly shown that they can shine in any environment, whether that be in the boardroom, teaching our children, climbing mountains, navigating uncharted waters, they can do anything that they set their mind to and Grow were honoured to host an event to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in Exeter.

It was a night to remember for all of those involved, so we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and re-live some of those highlights.

100 Most Influential Women

If you could make one change to the world…

“That people would be kinder to each other and take care of the world they live in.”

Ann Daniels, Polar Explorer and International Speaker.

“I wish creative industries were perceived as being as valuable as academic subjects within our culture and education system. I would insist that music, dance and sports were given equal emphasis.”

Ava Barron Thomas, Artistic Director and Owner of DanSci Limited.

“That we could all realise we are all one tribe, all figuring out our way through!”

Bindu Arjoon, Director at Exeter City Council.

“That global warming is taken seriously. I want a future for my grandchildren.”

Glynis Atherton, Chief Executive at Hospiscare Exeter, Mid and East Devon.

“It has been 100 years since women got the vote, but there is still a long way to go. Making the world equally safe and fair for men and women would be my first change; a catalyst for many more changes to people’s lives for the better.”

Lisa Vanstone, Director of One Voice Media and PR.

100 Most Influential Women
Ava Barron Thomas

The most influential woman in your life and why?

“My beautiful daughter; she has taught me tolerance, bravery, joy and perseverance. She’s made me laugh, cry, scream and celebrate. She has made me proud beyond words and taught me the very definition of love.”

Cleo Heard, Creator of Miss *C’s Graffiti Academy.

“Paula Radcliffe, for proving that achieving the impossible is possible and for her dedication to her sport and family.”

Emma Kessie, Centre Manager of Wonford Sports Centre and Northbrook Golf Course and Founder of Heavitree Running Group.

“How to chose when I can think of so many? My sister has probably been my biggest inspiration. She’s had to live with chronic asthma all her life and I’ve lost count of the times she has been rushed to hospital. It’s terrifying to witness and so much harder to go through, yet she never lets it stop her from living life to the full every time she is back on her feet. She is brave, funny and sharp as a whip. She works hard, plays hard and says what she thinks. We laugh a lot!”

Heléna Holt, Chief Executive at Devon Air Ambulance.

“In September, I became a mother for the first time when I had my son Dylan, and it has made me appreciate my mum in a whole new way! My mum is by far the most influential woman in my life. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without her support of my career.”

Dr Katie Lunnon, Associate Professor of Epigenetics.

“Oprah Winfrey; a woman who did not let her past define her future but instead became one of the most influential women in the world.”

Sarah Ashworth, Life Transformation Strategist specialising in relationships and personal development.

100 Most Influential Women
Cleo Heard

One Year On…

Our 100 Most Influential Women strive every day to make changes within their industry and within their communities for the better.

We are reaching out to you, our 100 Most Influential Women, and inviting you to get in touch and share with us your experiences since the event.

If you are one of our 100 Women, we would love to hear from you and find out about your journey since last year’s event for our ‘One Year On’ article.

Share your stories using the hashtag #100WomenExeter on social media or email us directly:

100 Most Influential Women

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