Week 6: Meet the Authors

Thursday, 12 July 2018

IMOLA SAYS:
It's been an eventful week in the UK... football might not be coming home, but we've got the women's World Cup to look forward to next year.

And in the meantime, we've got another two exceptionally successful women to reveal: Zoe Cunningham is the happy antithesis of women's hardships in tech, being the managing director of a software company - as well as an author and actress. Personally, she inspires me to never question my abilities in any field "as a woman", and to be a well-rounded person that approaches the world with trust and goodwill instead of suspicion.

Claire Ransom chose a different path: she left the corporate world behind to become an entrepreneur in an area she knew nothing about. When I met her, she was a brilliant business development manager at the largest book publisher in the UK. Fast forward a couple of years and the Independent has just awarded her company, LazyFlora, Best Buy plant subscription service. Talk about courage and stepping out of your comfort zone! Claire was one of the women that inspired me to take the plunge and set up as a freelancer.

ZOE CUNNINGHAM

Zoe Cunningham is an award-winning technology professional and currently Managing Director of Softwire Technology, one of the Sunday Times' “Best Places to Work”. Zoe also works as an actor, recently playing the lead role in Marianna Dean's award-winning short film Symptoms and an award-nominated role in seasonal short The Christmas Movie. Zoe has published three books, her most recent entitled An Actor's Life detailing her journey as an actor.

We asked Zoe why she decided to participate:

One of my key beliefs is that people have more to give that they realise and that they can achieve more than they thought possible, in areas that they might not typically have considered. Studying and working in science and technology for over 20 years, a recurring theme has been the gender imbalance in these sectors. I've been involved with many initiatives to change this and the most effective is role-modelling. When a young person sees someone that they can relate to in a job, then they believe that that job is open to them too. If they only see people of one gender, or race, or class then it doesn't feel like it's available to them. As a woman I'm happy to contribute to this project and show that women can hold senior roles in science and technology.

 

CLAIRE RANSOM

Claire Ransom is the Founder of Lazy Flora, a beautiful plant subscription business (think 'Hello Fresh' for plants). She's a creative entrepreneur and corporate escapee who has written about her experiences transitioning from corporate life to entrepreneurship in her book 100 Lessons from 100 Days of Starting Up, due for publication in September 2018. She's a passionate supporter of women supporting women and understands how scary and exciting starting a business can be.

This is what the Independent had to say about LazyFlora: "Lazy Flora takes all the guesswork out of gardening by sending a bundle of plants appropriate to the season direct to your door. Given that they’d been sent in the post, our plants arrived in excellent condition, survived several days of icy temperatures and continued to bloom over the coming weeks. [E]xcellent value for money."

And now you can let these flowers delight your senses while you supporting our book: choose the Eden plant pack pledge level, comprised of 16 plants curated by a Royal Horticultural Society gardener. The pack includes an eBook and a signed hardback, so make your pledge before it's gone!

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