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Hi! I’m Emily,

I’m passionate about unlocking the leadership potential in others, harnessing the collective power of diverse teams and driving positive social change.

I’m currently, CEO and Founder of award-winning charity Irise International- a global leader in menstrual health programming, research, advocacy and policy development, transforming peoples' lives through period equality. 

I’ve been working fulltime as the charity’s CEO since my early twenties, growing the charity from a crazy idea to an international team on two continents that is shaping national policy, global advocacy and reaching thousands of people every year. My highlights of the last decade include receiving the Power Together Award on behalf of Irise from the Global Women Political Leaders Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland (I got to shake hands with their president!) and convening on the UK government’s Period Poverty Taskforce. 

I also lived in Uganda for three years, helping to establish our East African led sister organisation, Irise Institute East Africa, returning to the UK when I was eight months pregnant with my beautiful daughter Ena. I am passionate about learning about other cultures, particularly non-Western leadership models and approaches. 

Before all of this, I worked as a junior doctor in London. Although I loved being a doctor, I found myself increasingly frustrated with a system that often failed to meet the health needs of women and girls. Irise was born out of the conviction that a female body should not be a disadvantage. 

I’ve also held academic posts including Research Associate at Kampala International University in Uganda and Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Sheffield, been a foster carer and served on charity boards. The thing that ties it all together is a desire to build fairer system for everyone.

The way we structure our society and world systematically disadvantages and marginalises large swathes of our global community- limiting our potential to rise to the challenges we face. I believe we can all be part of building something better.

Hi! I’m Marlene,

I’m a social entrepreneur, Communications and MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning) specialist, and art photographer, videographer and content creator who helps organisations and individuals tell their stories in a creative way. Leadership remains such a dynamic aspect in the ever-changing world and with a personal passion for different subjects revolving around women in leadership, I am always open to learning and hope you are too!


Join Emily and I, as we look at feminist leadership around the world, let’s share and learn more about what’s working for other leaders and how we can use the same skills to create inclusive spaces for our teams to drive change.


Personally, Afrikala Art was born in the middle of the pandemic after losing my job and was trying to find ways to move forward from what felt like rock bottom. The idea is to offer a creative communication service, alongside championing mental health support for artists and creatives in Kenya- who went through hell during the pandemic. Many were forced to sell their assets at a throwaway price just to put food on the table. Depression trickled in and some never made it.


Professionally, as a MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning) and Communications specialist, I have helped different organisations, especially small charities and grassroots organisations increase their organisational capacity to deliver their programs and develop their PR and communications.


Afrikala Arts, is a social enterprise operating in Kenya, East Africa, consisting of a group of young outside-the-box thinkers out to revitalise the levels of expression, especially among the youth and creatives. It involves young individuals who form a holistic content creation team that actively champions Mental Health and Creativity. Afrikala also has a podcast called Mental Talk recently launched to share information and demystify Mental Health issues while encouraging best practices. Stay tuned for great content coming your way.


Cheers to Leading Like Feminists!

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