Cambridge, UK Chapter Leads

Our women’s network is dedicated to help you achieve your goals and ambitions. By joining the Rising Network you automatically become part of a global community of women who want to see you succeed. Our network for women will equip you with the skills and confidence enabling you to thrive and we couldn’t do this without the support and commitment of our Chapter Leads.

Rising Network ‘Chapters’ are led by our Chapter Leads who sit within the Leadership Team for each Chapter. Our chapters are local communities designed to connect, inspire and empower women, each with their own calendar of events, workshops and activities for women in the local area.


Sharon Budworth, HR Lead

HR Director, UK & EMEA, Domino Printing Sciences

Sharon is currently HR Director, UK & EMEA at Domino Printing Sciences in Bar Hill, Cambridge. She has worked in Human Resources for over 25 years, beginning her career in the 1990’s at Napp Pharmaceuticals on the Cambridge Science Park. Sharon has gained significant HR experience across a variety of sectors including Telecoms, Higher Education, Software, Retail and Engineering. She is passionate about HR and is particularly interested in the rising trend in applying ‘disruptive approaches’ in the workplace. An advocate for greater diversity in technology and engineering she is committed to leading change. Domino is now a member of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and has started reaching out to similar organisations to find new and innovative ways to attract more women into STEM roles.
Leadership Development, Talent, Engagement, Employee Experience and Wellness are a few of the key projects that Sharon and the Domino HR Team are focusing on right now.
Sharon is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and has also taken opportunities to develop elsewhere. She is a trained Doula, Childbirth Educator and Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher, teaching Yogabirth classes in Cambridge for eight years until 2016. She is married, has three children and lives in St Ives Cambridgeshire.

Sarah Banks, Chapter Lead

Group Head of GEHS and Regulatory Affairs, Volac International Ltd

Sarah is Group Head of Quality, Environment, Health, Safety and Regulatory Affairs at Volac International Ltd, Orwell, Near Cambridge. Graduating with a degree in Agriculture in 1995, Sarah has worked in the Agri-Food sector for over 25 years. Her current role draws on a broad range of expertise in Business Quality management, CI, Strategic Leadership, Food Manufacturing & Customer Technical Support within the Agri-food sector.  She is passionate about Quality, environmentally sustainable food production, Leadership and the development of high performing teams through empowerment, motivation and self- awareness. A qualified coach and mentor, she strives to promote development of women throughout organisations and particularly in senior management, improving diversity in leadership teams to achieve improved Business Performance and balanced Board representation.

A dedicated farmer’s wife and mum to four teenage daughters, Sarah lives with her husband and family on their mixed arable farm in South Cambridgeshire. A keen sportswoman, she enjoys dance, cycling, jogging (& eating cake!) and promotes the importance of self-care and emotional intelligence to balance the high demands of work and family.

Sarah comments: I joined the Rising Network to reach out to other professional women to gain insight into different Businesses and to make a difference to others by sharing my knowledge and ‘life lessons’ helping others to feel as empowered as I do. To give support, offer coaching and to enjoy the benefits of becoming more visible outside of my organisation…and making some new friends too along the way!



Sarah Flack, Membership Lead

Co-Director, Ann Pettengell

Joining Ann Pettengell in October 2000 as a Recruitment Consultant, Sarah began her recruitment career servicing client’s needs for temporary staff. She then progressed through the company and today, is proud to be Co-Director of a brand that has a strong heritage with the city of Cambridge. Sarah is a passionate people person and advocate of how good recruitment practise can play a pivotal part in a client’s business; providing them with expertise and value. Sarah’s consultative approach to recruitment, enables her to manage the relationship through the recruitment process and attain an understanding of the client and candidate expectations.

Sarah is passionate about helping people achieve their career aspirations and personal goals, she is an advocate of ethical recruitment with integrity and transparency during the process. Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”

Amanda Hepton-Patchett, Communications Lead

Communications Lead, University of Cambridge

Amanda is a senior communications professional with over 25 years’ experience, including corporate communications, PR, marketing and advertising. She specialises in internal communications and employee engagement and has a particular interest in diversity and inclusion. She worked for 13 years at Cambridge University’s international exam group where she was Group Head of Internal Communications and Engagement before embarking on a career as an interim in 2018. Her interim roles include Director of Internal Communications for a major global pharmaceutical company and Comms Lead on a cultural change programme at Cambridge University.

After graduating with a joint honours degree in German and English, Amanda began her career as a personal assistant/co-ordinator before entering the world of Public Relations where she worked for several major agencies in London. Her most significant campaign was supporting the Wishing Well Appeal for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital for which she received a special commendation. She went on to establish a successful PR practice for a leading regional advertising agency. Here she built the function from scratch, working part-time and this earned her a seat on the management board which she combined successfully with raising a young family.

She then went on to work for a major personal lines insurance intermediary, again setting up their internal comms function. She joined as Corporate Communications Manager and left as Senior Internal Communications Manager before moving to the University exam group.

A strong believer in lifelong learning, Amanda went back to university later in life and did a Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Applied Linguistics where she was the oldest in the class. She achieved a distinction, after studying on top of a full time job and with a two hour daily commute. She has also undertaken professional study and took the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) Internal Communication Diploma and now returns to teach other practitioners. She is an Accredited Member of the CIPR. In 2018 she became a qualified ILM Level 7 (Masters level) Executive Coach and Mentor.

Amanda comments: “I came across the Rising Network through attending their Rising Festival and was incredibly impressed with the whole day, especially the calibre of the speakers and the supportive atmosphere. I left feeling inspired and uplifted, plus my head was buzzing with new ideas. I am passionate about diversity and inclusion and as a chapter lead, I am looking forward to working with the Rising Network to make a positive difference to women’s lives from all backgrounds and at all stages of their career in a supportive and caring way.”


Veronica Ilkow, Young Professional Lead

Antibody Engineer, Iontas

Veronica is a scientist at Iontas where she tinkers with molecules to innovate and design cutting-edge drugs to help the patient’s immune system fight cancer. She has used her creativity to find patentable solutions for state-of-the art technologies. Veronica’s research career started during her Biochemistry degree at Imperial College London with a year spent at AstraZeneca followed by a master’s in Immunology and a PhD in Biophysics at the MRC and Asthma UK centre, King’s College London. During her degrees she was a member of the Athena Swan committee and co-founded the first mentoring scheme for PhD students at the university to further support early-stage researchers.

Veronica comments: “Throughout my studies, I have been involved in promoting equal access for women in science and I seek to continue this with the Rising Network. I see this as a unique supportive community keen to listen and learn from each other and help members grow.”


Danielle Johnson, Young Professional Lead

Associate Director, UK & Cambridge Communications, AstraZeneca

Danielle is a senior communications professional with 16 years’ experience including internal communications, PR, external communications and marketing. She specialises in internal communications with an interest in employee engagement and crisis communication.

Danielle has worked for some of the largest brands in the UK, including the NHS, Royal Mail Group and the Post Office. She has also worked internationally in Singapore for DHL Supply Chain where she was the Internal Communications Lead for 21 countries across the APMEA region.

Danielle studied American Studies at University and began her career in PR and Marketing for Odeon Cinemas, before moving into the public sector and local government. Danielle has also completed the CIPR Diploma.

Following a career break to start a family and a stint living in America, Danielle now works for AstraZeneca in Cambridge where she is responsible for Internal Communications for Cambridge and the UK.

Danielle is married with three children. In her spare time, she is also training to run the London Marathon 2020 for Macmillan Cancer Support, a decade long ambition since losing a family member in 2008.

Danielle comments: “The Rising Network was recommended to me by a colleague and when I logged onto the website and saw many a familiar face in the pictures I felt I had to join. I love meeting new people and I am looking forward to making a positive contribution to the network and those within it.”


Emilie Louvet, Science Industry Lead

Principal Scientist, AstraZeneca 

Emilie joined AstraZeneca in 2016, where she first held a position in Precision Medicine, Tissue Diagnostic group. She is now a member of the Translational Medicine group, part of the Oncology Research and Development function. Emilie is a member of the “Network of Women & Me” at AstraZeneca that promotes personal development and empowerment.
With the support of AstraZeneca, Emilie became recently a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) and a SIP (Science Industry Partnership) Ambassador to inspire young people to engage into scientific careers within the science based industries.

Prior to joining the industry, Emilie worked at Gustave Roussy (France), a cancer center in the outskirts of Paris, where she co-lead the “Development in Pathology” group. Emilie has a background as a cell biologist. She obtained her PhD from Paris 5 university and Institut Jacques Monod (France), and continued her research at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) and Kyoto University (Japan).

Emilie married a French American in Sweden and gave birth to her daughter in Japan. In her free time, Emilie enjoys physical exercise; cheese, wine, whiskey and gin tastings (not all at a time); baking for her daughter; visiting museums with her family. She also enjoys participating in the Rising Network activities.

Emillie comments: “Since I started my career, I have been involved in promoting science and became engaged as a woman in science. Joining the Rising Network’s Leadership Team of the Cambridge Chapter as Science Industry Lead is the perfect opportunity to promote women in science within my community and the network.”


Rosa dos Santos, Membership Lead

Managing Director, Exact Sourcing

Rosa, MD of Exact Sourcing started the firm ten years ago where she actively works with her team to identify and recruit staff for growing organisations in Cambridgeshire region.

Rosa has worked in client facing roles for over twenty years and recruitment for just over half of that. Her roles have always focused around client engagement, building trust, relationships and identifying opportunities.

Rosas passion and motivation is to help others through recruitment and she is a mother of twins, Orsen and Health.


Dr Julia Wilson, Science Industry Lead

Associate Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Julia builds and supports the relationships that are needed to support the strategic vision of the Sanger Institute. These activities range from interactions with the academic scientific community, commercial partners, funders and government and policymakers.
Julia increases awareness of the Sanger Institute’s research, explores new collaborations and areas of research, strengthens and builds on existing links to accelerate and expand the impact and reach of Sanger Institute science. She works to translate the outcomes of research and position the Sanger Institute as a source of translational opportunities. In addition she raises awareness of the importance and impact of genomics research with government and policy makers and facilitates the translation of genomics research into clinical practice.
Previously Julia was Assistant Director of Research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Science Programme Manager at the World Cancer Research Fund. As a scientist she was a post-doc at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and then worked as a cancer researcher for a number of years at Cancer Research UK and Queen Mary University of London.

Julia comments: “The Rising Network is for all women from all sectors and through these connections we can share our experiences, exchange ideas and learn. I am passionate about women in scientific research and in scientific leadership. Joining the Rising Network’s Cambridge Chapter as a Science Lead is a wonderful opportunity to shape, support and speed up the role of women in science.”


Kim Sawyer, Chapter Lead

Joint Chief Executive, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Kim Sawyer is currently the Joint Chief Executive of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. She was formerly Legal Counsel and Monitoring Officer to the Combined Authority and has been part of the Authority since it was established in 2017.

Kim is a qualified solicitor and was formerly the Director of Governance at Peterborough City Council leading the governance teams and supporting the political management of the organisation. This role led directly into the Combined Authority, bringing together an area wide ambition to deliver growth.

The Combined Authority aims to ensure that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, two of the fastest growing areas in the country, are leading places in the world to live, learn and work. It brings together the area’s councils and is chaired by a directly-elected Mayor. Together they will deliver growth through transformational change to transport, affordable housing, skills and economic development.


Jo Stansfield, Technology Industry Lead

Global Lead, Diversity and Inclusion, AVEVA

Jo has 20 years’ experience delivering enterprise software to global industry, spanning oil & gas, automotive, aerospace and marine sectors.  She is a passionate advocate for greater diversity and inclusion within engineering industries.   Having held software engineering, product management and leadership roles, Jo is now studying an Organisational Psychology MSc and leads AVEVA’s global Diversity and Inclusion programme.


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