Table of UK’s top female-led firms recognises two inspirational Bristol directors

March 31, 2023

Two Bristol company directors have been named in a list of the UK’s most influential, fastest-growing and highest-performing female-led businesses.

Katherine McQueen, joint managing director of animation production studio A Productions, and Nicola Ray, CEO of digital consultancy Modern Media, have been included in the E2E Female 100 list, launched in association with The Independent. 

Celebrating women in business across a host of sectors, the E2E 100 shines a spotlight on leading innovators and changemakers, promoting unique businesses and celebrating entrepreneurial excellence.

Katherine, who has been joint managing director of A Productions since 2019, appears at 17 in the table with the firm having achieved an annual employee growth of 70%, while Nicola, who founded Modern with husband Stuart in 2012 when she had two young children, is at number 24 based on the firm’s growth rate of 60%.

Katherine, pictured, began her career by taking a role as a production assistant at A Productions in 2002 after studying English at Exeter University.

She worked her way up to production manager, then producer, before getting involved in running the business with founder Mark Taylor.

Her career to date has included producing the children’s TV series Boo! for the BBC, working with Sesame Workshop on producing animation for iconic and much-loved brand Sesame Street, and working with BBC Studios Kids & Family Productions on JoJo & Gran Gran for CBeebies, the first UK pre-school animation to centre on a Black British family. 

E2E said Katherine had ensured A Productions was a welcoming, diverse and inclusive place to work where everyone had the chance to shine.

It added: “Her approach is to be open and transparent, encouraging new ideas and feedback.”

Katherine said: “I feel very honoured to be featured in the E2E Female 100 list alongside many inspirational female business leaders.

“Leading A Productions with joint managing director and founder Mark Taylor is a real joy and a privilege, thanks to our incredibly talented team and the amazing roster of productions we work on – both past and present.

“For me, it’s crucially important to ensure A Productions is a welcoming, diverse and inclusive place to work; I believe everyone should have the opportunity to shine and I am committed to creating authentic shows that truly speak to their audiences.” 

E2E described Nicola’s leadership style as democratic and transformational using collaboration and coaching to get the best from those around her so they thrive and shine.

Nicola, pictured, added: “As a team, we have achieved huge growth over the past three years, trebling in size and scaling up to work with CMOs [chief marketing officers] and senior marketing leaders at some incredible global businesses.

“We’ve adapted our proposition to meet the strategic needs of our clients and help equip them for further growth, so being invited into this community of other ambitious, growth-orientated founders is a fantastic opportunity.”

E2E was founded in 2011 with the support of Sir Richard Branson, Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Duncan Bannatyne OBE, Kanya King CBE and other leading entrepreneurs to support high-growth founders.

E2E founder Shalini Khemka CBE said: “To see so many extraordinary multigenerational women in the top 100 from a host of innovative sectors is a testament to the amazing work so many women are achieving, daily.

“From vegan kitchens to finance and leadership, the diverse range of businesses which have not only been founded survived or thrived during the pandemic is incredible.

“Each and every person on this list should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved and will continue to achieve in the years to come.”


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