Catherine Mayer is an author, journalist, activist and speaker. As the co-founder and President of the Women’s Equality Party, she is an expert on the topic of Gender Equality and Women’s Issues. Catherine is also the co-founder of Primadonna Festival, which gives prominence to women, people of colour, LGBTQI+ individuals, working class people, and disabled people.
About Catherine Mayer
Catherine Mayer was educated in the UK and Germany. She has held positions for The Economist, had deputy editorships at Business Traveller and International Management magazines and spent 11 years as a foreign correspondent for the German news weekly, FOCUS.
Catherine Mayer joined TIME as a senior editor in 2004, and later became London Bureau Chief, TIME Europe Editor before being made Editor at Large.
She was the founding executive director of the data and technology think tank, Datum Future. She is on the advisory board of Noon, the media platform for women in midlife and beyond.
Catherine’s award-winning books include Amortality: The Pleasures and Perils of Living Agelessly; Attack of the Fifty Foot;oj Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World! and the memoir, Good Grief: Embracing Life at a Time of Death, which contains letters written by her mother after both women were widowed at the start of the pandemic. In 2022, WH Allen/Penguin published a new, substantially updated edition of her bestselling biography of King Charles III, Charles: The Heart of a King.
A contributor to the arts, Catherine was commissioned by the Globe Theatre to write and perform an original piece for its 2020 Voices in the Dark series, Notes to the Forgotten She-Wolves. She also performed Hello Boys with Grayson Perry at the Bridge Theatre in 2018. Her one-woman show Catherine Mayer: FFS toured the UK and Ireland in 2019.
Catherine Mayer was the lead candidate for the Women’s Equality Party in London in the 2019 European elections. She served as the elected President of the Foreign Press Association in London from 2003-2005. She is on the founding committee of WOW—the Women of the World festival. She was a judge for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction. She is a co-creator of the Festival of Death, which makes its debut at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts in November 2022.
The winner of the FPA Story of the Year in 2010 and shortlisted for the Orwell Prize the following year, she has also been named in Total Politics’ Top Political Journalists, WIE Women in Excellence 2013, Progress 1000 Evening Standard Equality Champion 2016, Oxford University Suffrage Champion 2018, Gender Equality Top 100: Most Influential People in Global Policy 2018 and, with Sandi Toksvig, NatWest Spirit of Everywoman Award 2018.
After the death of her husband, the musician Andy Gill, Catherine took on his unfinished projects, releasing two EPs by his band Gang of Four, and acting as executive producer for a tribute album, The Problem of Leisure: A celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four featuring globally famous musicians.
- The Future of Media in the Digital Age
During a 30-year career, Catherine saw first-hand how digital technologies initially enabled news organisations to flourish and then destroyed the economic models supporting them. Catherine discusses and assesses the repercussions not just within the industry but for democracy and our understanding of the world, as well as forecasting developments in new media.
- Seizing the Turbulence: How to embrace change
Tumult tends to make people and organisations cautious, but progress is often born of turbulence, not stability. Catherine explains why resistance may not only be futile but damaging, and how to find silver linings even in the stormiest of circumstances.
- Tough at the Top: Hard lessons in leading and being led
Catherine has been a junior employee, a middle manager, the head of departments and organisations and she is also the co-founder of the political start-up, the Women’s Equality Party. She discusses what she learned from bad bosses and good and from her own mistakes and successes about how to manage and how to inspire.
- From Lightbulb Moment to Growing Enterprise: How to turn ideas into reality
In March 2015, Catherine came up with the idea of the Women’s Equality Party. By July it was registered with the Electoral Commission. It now has 65,000 members and registered supporters and 73 branches. Drawing on this experience and on case studies she has conducted as a journalist and author, she sets out her blueprint for making things happen.
- Difference Works: Why true diversity and inclusion is about much more than ticking boxes
Organisations know they need to improve the diversity of their workforces—but they often don’t know why. Catherine unravels the confusion surrounding diversity and diversity programmes, highlights the dangers of creating echo chambers or cultures that suppress dissident opinions and demonstrates the value of more inclusive cultures.
- Wonder Women: How unlocking female potential benefits us all
This addresses some of the key points in the Difference Works keynote, but looking in more detail at the subject of female participation in the economy and the workplace. Why is it that organisations struggle to retain women and how can they improve that record? And, why the rewards of doing so are huge.
- Inside the Royal Family
Catherine spent two years researching her biography of King Charles III and many more years behind the scenes covering the Royals. She gives insights and tells anecdotes from the strange world she dubs “Planet Windsor” and also highlights the surprisingly pervasive influence of the Royals on public life.
Catherine Mayer Videos
"Catherine was an absolutely fabulous addition on the night – razor sharp, great sense of humour, real and extremely engaging. She is right at the top of her game and therefore able to be challenging but without alienating the audience."
"As a result of Catherine being on the panel, we were able to create the level, strength and quality of debate we really aspired to – and have an enjoyable, fun evening along the way. The feedback from our guests was that she had taken our panel to a new level."
"Very inspiring and engaging...we liked the way she spoke from the heart and gave her personal story. She sets a tone of openness and trust which was exactly what the session needed."