Hertfordshire's vibrant business landscape is teeming with remarkable women who have made their indelible mark in their respective fields. In this empowering listicle, we celebrate the extraordinary achievements of three inspiring women who have transformed the funeral, legal, and property industries in Hertfordshire. 

These trailblazers exemplify determination, resilience, and unwavering passion. Prepare to be inspired as we delve into the remarkable stories of Hertfordshire's leading ladies in business.


Sandra Foster - Managing Director and owner of Fosters Legal Solicitors

The Comet:

Sandra Foster is a Solicitor, the Managing Director and owner of Fosters Legal Solicitors based in the Old Town Stevenage.

Sandra was originally from Ghana, West Africa. She came to the UK in 1999 to study. She studied a degree in administration and law and also has a degree in Master of Law. She is now a qualified solicitor practising in primarily in family law.

The firm is rated top 3 in Stevenage by ThreeBestRated. Sandra is the driving force behind the success of the firm due to her love and commitment of helping the low-income clients in the community including providing free legal advice, working pro bono in cases of domestic abuse where the parent has no money and is fleeing his or her family home. She has also donated money from her own pocket, paid for shopping for essentials, and spent time visiting victims.  

Because of the firm’s vision and achievements, the firm was recognised as a National Business Leader in 2016 for its community work and support of low-income clients.

Sandra Foster is also privileged to be a Member of the Leaders Council of Great Britain and Ireland since 2021.  

Sandra said it is always her vision to encourage, inspire, and motivate people to achieve what they think is impossible. Therefore, her theme today is “Your Determination determines your success.”


Claire Austin - Managing Director of Austin’s

The Comet:

You might be forgiven for thinking that the world of the funeral director does not change much. But behind that sense of tradition, things are changing and for Claire Austin, Managing Director of Hertfordshire-based Austin’s, that means that she and her staff must constantly move with the times.

That, in itself, can be a challenge for a business that can point to a history which stretches back more than three centuries in the county. Austin’s is still based in Hertfordshire and Claire said: “We have to be aware of the company’s long history but you cannot afford to stand still in our business.”

Claire is the tenth generation of the family to be involved in the business. “I enjoy the challenges, one of which is the way that the nature of funeral services is changing. More and more people see a funeral service as a celebration of a life that has been lived rather than a mourning of the person who has died.”

Although originally established in Stevenage, Austin’s now has branches throughout north and east Hertfordshire. They opened in Harpenden last year and have just relocated their Hertford funeral arrangement office and Chapels of Rest.

In the autumn of this year, they will be opening Austin’s Natural Burial Park in Stevenage. This will be located adjacent to the Memorial Gardens at Harwood Park, over-looking the stunning views of the Hertfordshire countryside. The area will be left to meadow but will be planted with mature London Plane Trees.


Laura Haiselden - Property Manager at Mantle Space Ltd

The Comet:

My name is Laura, I am a Property Manager at Mantle Space Ltd. The main aspects of my role include facilities management, H&S management and contract management for the portfolio.  I have worked in the serviced office industry since 2007 but have worked with Mantle for 9.5 years. In that time, I have learnt a lot about the job and the industry which has exceptionally increased my skills and knowledge.

My favourite thing about my job is the people I work with. Establishing and maintaining positive relationships is a key part of this role, as you quite often will need everyone to rally in or be there at short notice to solve a problem. I am so grateful to work with people who make the day to day of this job so enjoyable.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading about personal growth and positive mindset. I am a great believer that positive thoughts create positive things and the importance of living in the present moment, which leads to a happy and fulfilled life. My interest in these areas has guided me to lots of great books which have definitely had a positive impact on my life. I live my life by these values, and I hope I inspire others to do the same.