Meet the Speakers


Rebecca Root

With over 25 years experience in theatre and TV, Rebecca Root has garnered many accolades for her performances. She is one of the few openly Trans actors working in the industry and as such, is celebrated as a strong voice for the LGBT community, appearing among the top 20 people in the Rainbow List which honours those who are a force for good in the world of LGBT & Diversity issues.


Maggie Alphonsi, MBE

Maggie Alphonsi is the face of international women’s rugby and arguably one of the most well-known names in women’s team sports. Before announcing her international retirement in 2014, she represented her country an impressive 74 times, scored 28 tries, and helped England win a record breaking seven consecutive Six Nations crowns. Most recently, Maggie also made history by becoming the first ever former female player to be elected as a National Member of the Rugby Football Union’s Council.


Minna Salami

Minna Salami is a Finnish Nigerian journalist who has propagated information on African feminist issues, about the African diaspora, and Nigerian women through her award-winning blog MsAfropolitan, which she created and has been editing since 2010. Minna is described as ‘one of the key feminist voices of our time’ and was listed alongside Michelle Obama as one of 12 Women Changing The World by ELLE magazine.


Gideon Feldman

Gideon Feldmen is the Head of Programmes and Business Development at Attitude is Everything, a user-led organisation, utilising the live music experiences of Deaf and disabled people to advise and inform the music industry on how they can be more inclusive. Over 160 venues and festivals across the UK have signed up to their Venue and Festival Charter of Best Practice. The Charter provides a framework built around Bronze, Silver and Gold awards with which to examine all aspects of making live music venues and events accessible. Attitude is Everything translate the Equality Act 2010 into accessible good practice guidance for service providers.


Lesley Jeffries

Lesley Jeffries is Professor of English Language at the University of Huddersfield and a former Chair of the Poetics and Linguistics Association. She is co‐editor with Dan McIntyre of the Perspectives on the English Language series (Palgrave). She is the author of numerous books including Opposition in Discourse (Continuum, 2010), Critical Stylistics (Palgrave, 2010), Textual Construction of the Female Body (Palgrave, 2007) and Discovering Language (Palgrave, 2006). Her current research aims to apply the techniques of stylistics to non‐literary texts, particularly those reflecting political ideologies. Lesley supervises PhD students in the areas of the stylistics of contemporary poetry and critical stylistics.

Jess Partridge

Jess Partridge

Founder and editor of London In Stereo magazine for the past 4+ years, Jess has balanced the day to day running of the publication alongside label managing indie label Fierce Panda, heading up marketing for Vice venues and currently managing PRS Foundation’s Keychange fund, which invests in the talent of female musicians and innovators who are the future of the music industry.