Leonora Saunders

Leonora studied photography at The Bournemouth Arts Institute and Kingston University, and is based in London. Specialising in portraiture, Leonora’s work has featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The Evening Standard as well as The Royal Photographic Society Magazine and other photographic journals. For the past few years Leonora’s work has been focused on exploring issues surrounding gender equality. “10%… and rising” is a book project of portraits and interviews with women working in male dominated professions, specifically where women make up less than 10% of the workforce. This body of work aims to celebrate these women, explore their experiences of being in the minority and challenge our idea on gender and ability, presenting memorable and inspiring portraits of these often hidden role models in our society. Recently commissioned projects around the subject of gender and diversity include ‘The Athena Project’ in collaboration with CMS Cameron McKenna – an ongoing project celebrating women in the legal and financial sectors; ‘Against the Odds’ – currently in production for exhibition in Autumn 2015, comprising portraits and filmed interviews of female alumni for Birkbeck, University of London and ‘Prospect Pioneers’ – a body of work celebrating women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based roles for Prospect Union. Her work has been exhibited around the country and in London with ‘The Athena Project’ being nominated for ‘Best Diversity Project‘ at the 2014 Lawyer Management Awards and Prospect Pioneers highly commended at the TUC Media Awards, 2014. Leonora also has a residency at Harris Academy, Bermondsey, working with teenage girls looking at women in photography and female representation in imagery. She was a judge and guest panel speaker at the Opportunity Now Awards 2015 and is also a regular contributor to discussions looking at gender equality and the role of the image, including presentations at the TUC Congress, the TUC, Birkbeck, University of London and the Judicial Images project. You can discover more about Leonora’s work on her website.

Why First 100 Years is important

Looking back at the first hundred years there is much to celebrate, so many inspirational women who have forged ahead, challenging conventions and paving the way for others to follow. It is projects like First 100 Years that establish fascinating archives and also provide a platform for debate and celebration of role models, both past and present.