BBC News

In pictures: Women Create Change


British documentary photographer Alison Baskerville's latest work, on display at the Oxford Festival of the Arts, shows pioneering women of the 21st century who are connected to the area.

"The conversation around equality and representation has never been stronger," says Ms Baskerville. "In meeting these women I realised that we are a society obsessed with gender and capability.

"These women prove that this is only a small factor in the path to become change makers and that their success is down to determination, focus, passion and love.

"This is something that we can all learn from, regardless of our gender."

Philippa Napier: Engineering apprentice at Mini plant, Oxford

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

Philippa Napier is an engineering technician apprentice training to become a parts quality engineer at the BMW Mini plant in Oxford.

After leaving school, she decided to pursue her passion for mechanics, enrolling onto the apprenticeship scheme at the age of 18. She is now reaching the end of her four-year apprenticeship programme.

"If you are an employer you should hire the right person for the job, regardless of gender," says Ms Napier.

"My advice for women would be to explore, understand and challenge themselves in all environments, not just professionally. There's no problem with challenging stereotypes by demonstrating capability."

Azfa Awad: First Oxford youth ambassador for poetry

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

Azfa Awad was born in Tanzania and moved to Scotland when she was six years old, later relocating to Oxford. She became the first Oxford youth ambassador for poetry after winning the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition and now works with refugee children to create poems from their stories.

She is currently studying English and creative writing at the University of Warwick.

Martha Lane Fox: Entrepreneur and youngest female member of the House of Lords

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

Martha Lane Fox, born in Oxford, was at the forefront of the dotcom boom around the turn of the century and works to improve the nation's digital skills and gender balance in the internet industry.

"Be bold," says Baroness Lane Fox, "even if you're shrivelling up inside."

Juli Beattie: Founder and director of educational charity The Art Room

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

Juli Beattie founded The Art Room in 2002 at Oxford Spires Academy and uses art as therapy to help school-aged children struggling in mainstream education. The charity now runs eight Art Rooms in Oxford, London and Edinburgh.

"My message for positive change in this turbulent world is that we should respect each other, try to be non-judgemental and, as much as we possibly can, send out messages of hope and inclusion," says Ms Beattie.

Icolyn Smith: Founder of the Oxford Community Soup Kitchen

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

Icolyn Smith, born in rural Jamaica, came to live in Oxford in 1965. Her first job was in the canteen of the British Leyland car factory in Cowley before she became a nurse at Cowley Road Hospital and then a care worker with social services.

After witnessing a young man living on the street eating from a dustbin she decided to start a soup kitchen. Using money left from her pension she founded her own soup kitchen at the Asian Cultural Centre on Manzil Way in 1989.

The Icolyn Smith Foundation now feeds up to 50 people twice a week.

Susan Greenfield: Neuroscientist and first female director of the Royal Institution

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

Susan Greenfield is a scientist, writer and broadcaster specialising in the physiology of the brain. She has been a professor of pharmacology at the University of Oxford for 20 years.

She has also published popular science books and founded a bio-tech company, a charity and research centres. Her research focuses on brain mechanisms in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Doireann Lalor: Social entrepreneur and founder of OxGrow Community Garden

image copyrightAlison Baskerville

In 2011 Doireann Lalor turned an abandoned college sports ground into Oxford's "edible community garden", OxGrow.

She was later part of a group of Oxford graduates who formed the Cultivate cooperative to promote ecologically friendly, sustainable farming and support local food producing in the city and county.

Women Create Change can be see in Frideswide Square, Oxford from 1 June to 31 August.

Related Topics

  • Oxford
  • Photography