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The Women's Association

Our Vision

We have seen many women and girls give up on their dreams because we still live in a world where we are constantly being told what we should or shouldn't do. The Women's Association was created because we believe that it is our duty to make sure that women and girls have the resources, opportunities and infrastructure needed to dream freely and make their dreams a reality. 

Since 2014 when Deborah started her work she's identified multiple barriers that has stopped many women from dreaming freely:


The messages we hear when we are young inform what we believe is possible for us as we grow. This messaging often starts at school where antiquated views on what girls can/can't do still prevails and is part of what prohibits girls from dreaming freely.

"Engineering isn't for girls, let's explore another option for you"  - a 14 year old girl on our program was told this by her Maths teacher in 2021

Career life-cycle

Seeing a lack of representation, being the only one, experiencing normalised sexism and misogyny that gets passed off as 'banter', experiencing a lack of support from female leaders, are only some examples that women experience in their career journey which affects their ability to dream freely.
"My boss was so overtly sexist and inappropriate that I had no choice but to leave my job." - a woman shared during our focus group in 2020


Bringing money into a home and managing finances used to be seen as a man's responsibility which meant a lot of women were not financially literate. We've seen  lot of progress over the years but there's still a long way to go for some women to feel confident financially and for more female business owners to receive investment. There is currently only 2.3% of women receiving investment and it is even lower for women of colour. 

Emotional wellbeing

There are many examples of how women's mental health suffers from putting everybody first, to fighting for equity and feeling fatigued, struggling with lack of confidence, self-worth and internalising messages about what we should or shouldn't do as women. All of these things and more prohibit women from dreaming freely.


Representation in the media

In films, in news articles, magazines and on social media there are many different messages that paint a specific image of the role women play or should play in society, like the constant question "Can women really have it all?" Or recently "Did living in the shadow of his high achieving wife lead to unthinkable tragedy?" when detailing the events that led to a man killing his wife which suggests that her ambition led him to killing her. This is 2 of many more examples that exist in the media that can affect how we see ourselves and how others see us. 

More companies we've worked with

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"Deborah and The Women’s Association are making waves to improve visibility, make meaningful change towards gender equality at work and inspire working women everywhere to be the change makers of the future."

Sharon Ament

Director / Museum of London

Our Founder's Story

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Deborah's Socials

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

Deborah​ Williams

Founder & CEO, The Women's Association

When we are young there is a bubble of innocence that hides us away from some of the harsh realities in the world. I was able to keep myself in that bubble until 2014 when I was awakened by the realisation that being a woman in the world and especially in the corporate landscape comes with many challenges. This realisation came when I embarked on a journey of discovery for my dissertation which explored the stories of women in the workplace across industries from overt sexism, to sexual harassment and more. Once I was aware of this reality, I struggled to sit back and do nothing.

This led to the first of many efforts to try and create change. As I embarked on this journey I found that I was personally burdened by the historically imposed expectations and stereotypes that dictated what was acceptable for me as a woman trying to navigate my journey.

This led me to want to create an organisation that works to change systems, cultures and mindsets that make women and girls feel like we have to be anything other than our authentic selves at work and in the wider world. My hope is that through The Women's Association we can give women and girls the information & support to dream, whilst we work on revealing and removing the barriers that could prohibit us from making our dreams a reality. 

Meet our Core Team


Deborah Williams

Founder & CEO

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Caroline Desmarais

Strategic Consultant


Sylvia Udomhiaye

People & Operations Manager


Sikalaev Heath

Head of Operations - The Girls' Association

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Danielle Odojukan

Programme Manager


Bella Neale

Producer and Co-Host of Sister Space

Meet our Steering Committee

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Cephas Williams


56 Black Men

The Black British Network

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Fiona Clutterbuck

Chairwoman | Non-Executive

Paragon Bank | M&G


Nanda Manley-Browne

Education & Schools Policy Lead

Lambeth Council


Jessica Tamsedge

Incoming CEO, UK & EMEA

Dentsu Creative


Caroline Pay

Chief Creative Officer 


Andrew Denton



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Julie Hood

EY EMEIA Strategy and Transactions Leader



Bukola Garry

Head of Diversity & Inclusion

Adam & Eve


Paul Frampton Calero




Abrilli Phillip

Director of Education

Lambeth Council


Victoria Fox



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