The world has changed significantly since women were first granted the vote 100 years ago. We’ve seen two female prime ministers and 208 women in parliament. Whilst the battle for the female right to vote might seem like distant history, the centenary serves as both a reflection and a celebration of how things have moved on since the 1918 act, including the much broader range of occupations that women now work, that pre-1940s, were deemed to be solely for men.

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy but now with businesses being held accountable for equal opportunities and gender pay reviews, we have a lot to thank Emmeline Pankhurst and the suffragette movement for.

As a business, we are incredibly proud of our approach to equality and have many females at the helm of our ship. Our female leaders include; our CFO, our Business Operations Manager, our Financial Controller, our Marketing Manager, our HR Manager, our L&D Manager and that’s not to mention 4 Operational Directors and even our highest performer for the past 4 years is female. That’s not to say we haven’t got an equal mix with our fantastic men too but we are firm believers in meritocracy regardless of gender.

Having recently launched an unrivalled, industry leading maternity and paternity policy for employees, we’re confident that we always do the ‘right thing’ for both our ladies and our gents.

Let’s celebrate 3 of the most inspiring women in business today;

Sheryl Sandberg- COO, Facebook 

Chief operating officer of Facebook since 2008, and with an estimated net worth of $1.63 billion, Sandberg has played a key role in boosting Facebook’s revenue and previously worked for six years as a vice president at Google. On the subject of women in business, Sandberg says, ‘We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored’.

Martha Lane Fox – Co- founder, Lastminute.com

Lane Fox started up lastminute.com in 1997 with her business partner Brent Hoberman CBE, which they then later sold for £577 million. Arguably one of the most famous female entrepreneurs, Lane Fox is incredibly influential, sitting on the board of some of the UK’s most well renowned brands such as Marks and Spencer and Channel 4.

Michelle Mone – Founder, Ultimo

With an estimated net worth of £20 million, Mone is the founder of lingerie company Ultimo and one of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs. Having raised thousands for a variety of organisations, Mone is also dedicated to supporting charities, and was introduced in the House of Lords in 2015 to conduct a government review on business start-ups in deprived areas.

At SF Group we’re dedicated to understanding your skills and aspirations so we can place you in the best position to fulfil your potential. So if you’re feeling inspired and are looking for a new challenge, contact us on 0845 519 3655, or email recruitment@sfgroup.com to see how we can help.