“Gender equality is growing more distant. On the current track, UN Women puts it 300 years away,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said recently.

This International Women's Day, we are celebrating the women forging change by highlighting some of the most notable local female leaders and advocates who we have seen making a significant impact on sustainability and social value in the Liverpool City Region and beyond. This is in no way an exhaustive list and we appreciate that our region benefits from the work of so many inspiring women in every organisation and home. 

"Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity."


Joanne Anderson

Liverpool’s first female Mayor, Anderson is focused on promoting social value and creating a fairer and more inclusive society. Anderson aims to tackle poverty and reduce inequality, improve access to education and housing, and address the issue of homelessness. Her mission is to ensure that everyone in the city has access to opportunities and that the benefits of growth are shared by all.


Clare Corran

As Chief Executive Officer of Positive Futures, a youth development charity supporting young people in Liverpool, Corran has been working to enable young people in

Liverpool to achieve their potential through engagement, education, empowerment, and enterprise. With over 20 years of experience supporting the personal and professional development of disadvantaged young people, Clare is continually driving the enterprise forward and delivering the charity’s vision that “everyone deserves a chance”.


Jo Holden

With such a big development footprint across Liverpool and Wirral Waters, Peel L&P’s ESG and Sustainability Director, Holden focuses on implementing progressive sustainable business practices and promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles throughout the company. This includes initiatives such as reducing carbon emissions, promoting renewable energy sources, and ensuring that all of Peel L&P's developments are designed and built sustainably with biodiverse surroundings. Under Jo’s guidance, Peel L&P were one of the very first local private-sector advocates for the SDGs, and advocating for Biodiversity Net Gain.


Faye Dyer

Another example of a local leader driving change is the launch of The ACC Liverpool Group’s Social Value Plan. Under the leadership of Faye Dyer, the organisation is working towards creating a positive impact on the community, environment, and economy. The plan focuses on five key areas, including community, sustainability, procurement, event industry impact, and people. To reach its commitments, the ACC has taken steps towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, maintaining a zero-waste status, promoting diversity and inclusion, and working with service partners to deliver the plan. 

Faye stated that the plan is rooted in the organisation's values and will be unique, deliverable, and impactful to the environment and communities. The plan aims to not just focus on profit and loss, but also to look at success in terms of its impact on society on a global and local level.


Ngunan Adamu

With over 15 years of experience in the Media and Creative Industry, Ngunan is known for her commitment to amplifying the voices of women and promoting gender equality as a host and producer at BBC Radio Merseyside. More recently, she has established iWoman to provide women with the training and resources they need to succeed in the media industry. Through her new platform, she aims to create opportunities for women by building, upskilling and providing necessary resources to help women reach their goals.


Janet Beer 

Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer is a sustainability leader and advocate at the University of Liverpool, where she works to promote environmental and social responsibility across the institution. She is dedicated to making the university a leader in sustainability, and her work has had a significant impact on promoting sustainable practices, engaging the community in efforts to create a more sustainable future, as well as updating the university's values and ethics standards while creating six new sustainability sub-groups to set out programmes of work, including groups for biodiversity, climate, culture and communication. 

Through her work, Janet has demonstrated that sustainability is a critical aspect of higher education and that universities can play a significant role in creating a more sustainable future. Check out UoL's recent successful Sustainability Week heavily influenced by the SDGs.


Annie Merry

Annie is the Director of Faiths4Change, a charity that focuses on developing community-led projects aimed at addressing specific needs and issues. The organisation works in partnership with communities and organisations to identify areas of concern and to develop creative and engaging solutions. Their projects are designed to be effective, as well as enjoyable and accessible for all participants. One example of her work is the Green Up Northwood project, which was developed in response to high levels of bin contamination and low recycling rates in the area. Merry is also joint coordinator of the regional Friends of the Earth, a movement creating a safer climate, flourishing nature, and healthy air, water, and food, now and for future generations. 


Rachael Jones 

Rachael is a transformational change leader, with personal appointments to the Metro Mayors Social Solidarity Economy Panel and LCR Climate Change Panel. With extensive experience in leading successful social economic innovations, she has worked with local community groups and businesses across Liverpool to grow the shared economy. As CEO of One Knowsley, Rachael provides the expertise and support to help voluntary, community, faith and not-for-profit (Social Sector) to start, grow, build resilience, establish an enterprise and have a visible and valued role within the borough. 


Claire McGolgan 

Claire McColgan is the Director of Culture Liverpool, known for her passion for public engagement in arts and culture. She has successfully increased access and participation through partnerships and initiatives that promote social and economic growth. McColgan's efforts have resulted in successful programs and events, and she is widely recognised as a leader in the arts and culture sector. She leads a team responsible for delivering world-class events that engage and inspire people across all age groups. Her achievements have been recognised by numerous awards including Visit England’s Tourism Event of the Year 2016.


Maggie O’Carroll

Maggie is the CEO and co-founder of The Women’s Organisation, the largest developer and deliverer of training and support for women in the UK supporting over 60,000 women. The organisation has helped to create more than 4,000 businesses. Having led the overall strategic development of the charity and social enterprise, Maggie is actively involved in shaping women’s economic development policy on a local, national and international basis.


Simone Greyling

...and a very special final shout-out to our very own sustainability powerhouse Simone Greyling.

Simone has just celebrated her first anniversary with 2030hub and has been an absolute inspiration since she joined. Her passion and self-motivation for sustainable tourism in particular has been a revelation for us and the city. Definitely a rising star!