Our Team

PENSON's Pick | The Women Who Inspire Us

By Sarah Bean

We were going to post this earlier in the month but then coronavirus struck. On the last day of #womenshistorymonth we still want to celebrate the wonderful women that have paved the way throughout history.


Earlier in the month (before we were wfh) we asked our studio about the women who inspire them.


The variety of answers we received captures the essence of our studio and our different walks of life - but one thing remains - the women our team chose are trailblazers who need no introduction. The answers reveal how far gender equality has come but also point out we still have some way to go.

1. Amelia Earhart ~ chosen by our Associate, Andrew


American aviation pioneer and author, Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.


"She was such a pioneer – not just amongst women but amongst the other pilots at the time. Ordinary people weren’t doing that sort of thing in those days."

2. Charlotte Perriand ~ chosen by our Designer, Manon


French architect and designer.


"She was such a visionary in architecture and interior Architecture that you could say Le Corbusier took the credit for some of her finest work.


She started her career at 26 years old and fought for her design to be accepted in a ‘man’s world’. She achieved great things and was respected because of the way she thought about, and approached design.


I find it amazing that back then, she travelled to Japan and spread her vision of minimalist and genius visionary design.


She has become timeless – if you look at some designs today, people have mimicked or copied some of her most famous pieces because they’re so functional – with such a cool aesthetic.


She was mapping the future way before anyone realised."

iconAmelia Earhart
iconCharlotte Perriand face à la vallée, vers 1930 © ADAGP, Paris 2019 © AChP

3. Zaha Hadid ~ chosen by our Senior Architectural & Technical Designer, Paul


Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE RA was an Iraqi–British architect. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004.


"Does Zaha need an introduction?"

iconZaha Hadid ©Sebastian Boettcher
iconHeydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. ©Hufton+Crow—Zaha Hadid Architects

4. Tracey Edwards ~ chosen by our CEO, Lee


Tracey is a British Sailor - In 1989 she skippered the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy and was awarded an MBE honour.


"You have to watch the film ‘Maiden’ documenting Tracey Edwards’ round the world yacht race in 1984. It’s probably one of the best female power stories of the modern age. Just watch it. You’ll thank me later."

iconMaiden Voyage ©Gutek Film

5. My mum ~ chosen by our Associate, Zoe


"My mum is many things but she was a single mum of two and a career woman back when it was relatively unheard of. 


She set up her own business window dressing some of London’s most famous store windows like Harrods and Selfridges. This is her standing outside the Charles Joudan shop in Knightsbridge. A true inspiration!"

6. My grandma ~ chosen by our Associate, Lan


"She's 96 years of age! Legend."

iconZoe's mum ©Zoe Newman
iconLan's grandma ©Lan Yang

7. Actress Sigourney Weaver playing Ellen Ripley in the alien film series ~ chosen by our Visualiser, Cris


The character earned Weaver world recognition, and the role remains her most famous to date.


"As a kid, she saved the world over and over every other weekend kicking ass. A powerhouse of female acting talent."

8. Vivienne Westwood ~ chosen by our Designer, Rose


Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE RDI is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.


"She changed the fashion industry game, the way we dress and express ourselves. A true creative inspiration with strong environmental and humanitarian ethics.


But most of all, she's rebellious."

iconSigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley
iconVivienne Westwood ©Wonderland Magazine