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200 Women is a book and exhibition inspired by a belief that you can’t empower women without listening to their stories. Our subsequent idea was to persuade two hundred women in different parts of the world - whether they be rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, famous or unknown - to sit or stand in front of a plain sheet of fabric and to be photographed and filmed while answering five fundamental questions.
Our goal was not to make a book about just successful and powerful women; those stories are important, but we wanted diversity, and above all, authenticity. Two hundred 'real women', with 'real stories'.
Karen Mattison MBE was born in Liverpool, England. She began her career in the public and charity sectors, but realised after having children that career progression in part-time roles was significantly limited. In response to this, she first co-founded Women Like Us, to support women with children to find quality part-time and flexible work. She then co-founded Timewise, which is dedicated to unlocking the flexible jobs market in the United Kingdom. Mattison was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010.