Bringing together progressive women, whoever and wherever you are
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Progressive Women is a small charity run by volunteers. We are lucky enough to work with many individuals who generously give up their time to help us with our day-to-day running of the organisation, including funding, network-building, events and communications.

We were founded in 2009 by Mary Hough, Brooke Flanagan and Caroline Watson. Our thanks go also to Anna Chatburn.
“It’s great to see women working together to create more equality – I admire the work that Progressive Women does to support women’s aspirations.”
Natasha Walter, Director Women for Refugee Women, author of Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism
“Progressive Women is a great support network, offering a variety of discussion and social events for women in different professions and from diverse backgrounds. I have thoroughly enjoyed the events I have attended and think groups such as Progressive Women are really important to help women go from strength to strength and ensure our voices are heard.”

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, London Assembly
“I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at several Progressive Women elections hustings, and enjoy following their blog. It’s critically important that we have a group such as Progressive Women that provides a space to share ideas, hear new voices, and get together. There are plenty of old boys’ clubs still going strong – Progressive Women provide an antidote.”  
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
“Progressive Women are well known for their inspiring and informative events that bring together women with great potential and enthusiasm to make the world a better place. I am continually impressed by Caroline Watson’s drive, competence and tirelessness in putting on these events, her success in securing high-profile speakers and her personal commitment to helping others develop and learn. This group is a must for any women or man keen to set high goals for him or herself and interested in discussing issues of equality in society, especially in the context of the political world.”
Dr Laura Nelson, Business Coach and public speaker, former Director at Breakthrough: The Gender Stereotypes Project
“Progressive Women is a very special network of amazing young women. Not only do they recognise the importance of developing effective leadership skills but they are taking personal responsibility for getting them. As the song says, these are truly ‘women who are doing it for themselves!’”
Judy Oliver, Founder and Co-ordinator of A New Kind of Leadership (ANKLe)
“Women continue to be poorly represented in leadership positions whether in elected politics, the boardroom or in public life in general. Progressive Women plays an important role in bringing women together to make sure we never forget the barriers women find in their path to equality."
Rt Hon Tessa Jowell DBE MP, former Shadow Minister for the Olympics and former Shadow Minister for London
Caroline Watson, Finance Director and Co-Founder, @CarolineSWatson
Caroline is a Partner at an environmental charity where she manages a diverse range of sustainability programmes. She has been at the forefront of the shift to low carbon vehicles. Previously, Caroline worked as a policy advisor at the Environment Agency and prior to that, as a researcher in the House of Commons. She is passionate about equality, justice and politics.

Emma Ward, Secretarial Director, @gingeremmaward
Emma W joined the Progressive Women committee in January 2012. She is currently a Marketing Project Manager for Parkinson's UK, with a diverse history of experience across a number of health and social care settings. She is passionate about women supporting and learning from each other in order to reach their full potential. Other passions include her cat Maggie and a good cup of tea with a slice of cake.

Nicole Rowe, Communications Director, @cellardoor790
Nicole is a former publishing and digital advertising professional with an MSc in Gender from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She blogs and tweets on feminist issues and co-runs her own feminist pressure group alongside her contributions to Progressive Women, where she heads up the website, social media and blog. Nicole is also somewhat of a Germanophile: she has a degree in German Studies and has previously studied and taught EFL in Germany. Her main passion, however, is supporting women whenever possible.

Binita Mehta, Stakeholder Director, @BinitaMehta90
Binita is Progressive Women's Stakeholder Director. She is actively involved in politics, being the youngest candidate in the May council elections in Watford. She was also the only female to run for Warwick Student Union Presidency during her final year studying PPE, though during her first local council campaign in 2012, she ran in a rare all-female ballot. Binita is a communications professional and feels passionately about equality, justice and encouraging fellow progressive women to defy barriers and fulfil their potential.

Emma Mckay, Fundraising Director, @EmsMcKay
Emma M works for a charity sector body where she leads research on the charity retail market, and carries out public affairs work covering the UK high street, measuring social value and fundraising in the charity sector. Previously, Emma was a Policy Advisor at the British Academy, leading policy research projects on culture and heritage, and social cohesion and equality. She has also worked in local political campaigning and in event organisation. Emma is a firm believer that enabling women to lead and influence at an individual level, in all aspects of their lives, is an essential step in realising gender equality.

Who We Are


Supporter Testimonials

Advisory Board

The Progressive Women board of advisors is comprised of:

Lucy James

Judy Oliver

Hilary Samson-Berry