We here at Collective Hub are pretty thrilled with our current issue, The Power Issue, and not just because it includes some major talent across a broad range of industries from all corners of the globe but also because it spotlights some gutsy, creative and powerful women who are changing the world in big ways.
Here are 6 of them who made our carefully curated list of 30 power players. They are awake and unafraid and more than deserving of a spot in our Power Issue:
Home: Sonning Eye, England
Role: Human rights barrister with Doughty Street Chambers
Her power move: Defending Canadian Al Jazeera journalist
Mohamed Fahmy, who was on trial in Egypt with two others for allegedly airing falsified footage intended to damage national security, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. He was found guilty, imprisoned for more than 400 days and finally released – all for what Amal calls “simply doing [his] job”.
What we’ve learned: That sometimes you have to keep fighting, even when you think you’ve lost.
She says: “It [was] ironic that the main charge against the Al Jazeera journalists [was] that they sought to tarnish Egypt’s image – there [was] little that could tarnish it more than allowing such injustices to persist.”
Home: Sydney, Australia
Role: Journalist and TV host of esteemed Australian news show 7.30 Her power move: When the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, tried to dodge questions about one of his ministers potentially misleading parliament, the Walkley-award-winning journalist shut him down live on air by declaring, “I ask the questions on this program.” She also recently opened up about her personal and professional difficulties after the traumatic birth of her second child in 2014, admitting it was one of the hardest periods of her life.
What we’ve learned: To speak your mind, no matter the audience.
She says: “I don’t really like interviewing people I admire or feel a sort of emotional attachment to. If you like somebody’s work, just let the work speak for itself.”
Home: Beirut, Lebanon
Role: Founder and president, Beirut Marathon Association
Her power move: Creating the largest running event in the Middle East, The Beirut Marathon, after almost dying when she was hit by a bus, spent two years in hospital and was told she would never run again. In a city that has been the site of constant conflict, the marathon has become a symbolic act of peace that brings together runners and fans from opposing political beliefs and religions. In 2015, there were 84 nationalities represented and 37,811 participants.
What we’ve learned: Peace can be achieved anywhere, and any of us can help achieve it.
She says: “Peacemaking is not a sprint. It is more of a marathon.”
Home: New Jersey, US
Role: Creator, #1000BlackGirlBooks
Her power move: Sick of reading books about “white boys and dogs” – and challenged by her mum, who asked, “What are you going to do about it?” – Marley decided to collect 1000 books with black girl protagonists. She will personally deliver them to two schools in Jamaica, where her mother was raised, with two of her friends.
What we’ve learned: You’re never too young – or old – to make the change you want to see happen.
She says: “I want to make sure other black girls around the world can see and love themselves, too, through these books. I know there’s a lot of black girl books out there, I just haven’t read them.”
Home: San Francisco, US
Role: Software engineer, Pinterest
Her power move: Having worked at Google, Facebook and Quora, Tracy decided to use the best tool at her industry’s disposal – data – to get an honest understanding of gender in the tech workplace. She created a public Google Doc in 2013 and listed the gender ratio of Pinterest’s software engineers, encouraging others to do the same.
So far nearly 250 companies are listed and the results show 18.7 per cent of software engineers on staff are female.
What we’ve learned: Anyone has the power to hold others accountable for their actions – intentional or not.
She says: “Every company has some way of hiding or muddling the data on women actually in engineering roles. The actual numbers I’ve seen and experienced in industry are far lower than anybody is willing to admit. This means nobody is having honest conversations about the issue.”
SOPHIE DE OLIVEIRA BARATA
Home: London, England
Role: Director, Alternative Limb Project
Her power move: Creating art-inspired prostheses that empower customers to love their limbs – from an arm with a snake crawling around it to a stereo leg with an inbuilt iPod docking station and functioning speaker – Sophie, who studied special effects prosthetics, is radically changing the way society thinks about disability.
What we’ve learned: Any industry can be disrupted by true creativity.
She says: “The power has been transformed over to the amputees. Usually, not always, [having an artificial limb] has often been seen in a pitiful way… but now is the subject of envy.”
Read the full list of our 30 power players in Issue 31, out now.