On March 8th we saw the return of International Women’s Day - a globally renowned day that celebrates the achievements of women around the world.
I thoroughly enjoy the event every year - not least, because it brightens my social media feed with the heartwarming, inspiring and often touching stories of women who have tackled gender bias and adversity in their lives to come out on top.
I’ve been working for Omnisis now for just over a year and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far in the market research industry.
But it’s no secret that we are largely a male-dominated industry and it was on International Women’s Day this year that I had the idea of sharing some inspirational women that I follow within the industry.
It’s my hopes that, regardless of your gender, you will take some time to learn more about these women, what they’ve achieved and enjoy their tweets, articles and content in the future, too.
So without further ado, here are three key women to follow in the market research industry.
1. Jane Frost
It’d be near enough impossible to exist in this sector and not have heard of the Market Research Society.
The MRS are the world’s leading research association and they set the standard for professional development within the sector and Jane Frost is their Chief Executive.
The MRS work hard to provide training, conferences and events as well as lobbying on behalf of the industry.
They are also responsible for the trade magazines Impact and Research Live that I often read for interesting news and insights into what’s going on in market research worldwide (more on that later).
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Jane has written a touching and informative open letter on how she and the MRS will support us throughout the coming months.
Within this, she mentions that she’s also written a letter to the Chancellor that states “ours is a highly agile business sector, but as a result of that we have a significant number of ‘casual’ staff. We are also a sector of SMEs.“ both of whom will undoubtedly need help from the Government during this uncertain time.
It feels good to know that we have Jane and the MRS fighting on our behalf and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels better knowing that we have their collective support over the difficult months that lie ahead.
2. Katie McQuater
She’s the Deputy Editor (soon to be Editor as of April - congratulations!) of both of these publications and when I was brand new into the industry, they were both absolutely instrumental in helping me to gain wider industry knowledge.
I distinctly remember getting on the train back from my first-ever meeting with the team in Manchester with my bag laden down with copies of Impact to read from Brian our Managing Director.
I’ve also been enjoying Katie’s work from home tips on Twitter recently, which involve winding down during the last half hour of the day with cup of tea (always a good idea!) and limiting your time scrolling through the news and social media to avoid passively taking on others’ anxiety.
3. Kristin Luck
Last but certainly not least is Kristin Luck, Founder of Women in Research (WIRe), an organisation that provides training, events, and resources to support women and diverse communities in research.
Women in Research do some fantastic work and have some really forward-thinking initiatives.
One of these is their conference 50/50 split where they work with market research conferences around the world to ensure there is a 50/50 gender split between speakers.
This important initiative works to make sure female speakers are given an opportunity to have their voices heard on the conference stages (you can join their database and recommend female speakers you know here).
They also run a 2020 mentorship programme, WIRe in Color group to raise visibility of women of colour in the research industry and they pioneer a Global Scholarship Fund to advance the contributions of women in research - both for their own personal career development and of course, for the collective good of the industry.
Kristin has had an incredibly varied and successful career as an entrepreneur and now growth-strategist and her achievements inspire thousands of WIRe members and beyond to achieve what they want with unwavering determination and tenacity.
I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this list and will join me in thanking Jane, Katie and Kristin for their contributions, not only to the sector as a whole but to my personal professional development in a new industry as well.
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