“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” These are the words of Charlotte Whitton, who in the 1950s became the first woman mayor of a major city in Canada. The woman quoting her is Fiona Marston, the CEO of Absynth Biologics, an organisation that addresses people’s growing immunity to antibiotics. Fiona and the other five women featured in this article were photographed by British photographer Amelia Troubridge for a collaborative project (and exhibition, details below) between Getty Images and Innovate UK, who are working to address the abhorrently low number of women in the STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) – estimated to be just 14%.
While Getty searches for “female business executive” (guilty) have increased 350% over the last few years, the overall proportion of female entrepreneurs in Britain is still 50% less than men. Why? Well, history, childcare, unconscious gender bias and a distinct lack of role models are just a few of the reasons the women photographed came up with when we put the question to them. We also took the opportunity to ask these founders and CEOs of successful startups – in sustainability, air pollution solutions, medical physics and drones – what gets them out of bed in the morning, who inspires them on a daily basis, and what innovation means to them. Click through for inspirational words from aspirational women with seriously cool jobs, and head to the exhibition at Getty Images Gallery, 46 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 8DX to see more.