Editor’s note: Sinead Hasson is managing director of market research and insight consultancy Hasson Associates, London.

BusinesswomanThroughout Women’s History Month, I read many brilliant and passionate pieces about women who have had an amazingly positive impact on the lives and careers of both women and men. But then I realized I hadn’t read anything about the women who’ve shaped market research.

Now, if you were asked to name the women in history who made a significant contribution to market research, who would you name? When I asked colleagues and clients that very question, we were spoilt for choice. But after a lot of thought, I developed this list of women I believe are playing leading roles in making our industry successful:

Wendy Gordon – Gordon is a Fellow of the Market Research Society, author, conference speaker and media commentator. She was honored by The Women’s Advertising Club of London as one of its Women of Achievement, all while working with a variety of clients, spanning many business sectors and geographies.

Phyllis MacFarlane – MacFarlane has been chair of the Market Research Society and chair of GfK’s U.K. business GfK NOP. Most recently she has been promoting and developing MR across Africa in her role as global training director for consumer experiences.

Elizabeth Nelson – Nelson co-founded Taylor Nelson in 1965 and was awarded an OBE for services to eco-labelling in 1992. Since then she’s worked as chair of an NHS trust and been CEO of three charities. Throughout her career, Nelson has pioneered research innovation and industry governance and has continued this work as part of her role on the Market Research Society’s main board.

Rita Clifton – During her time as chair of Interbrand, Clifton recognized the importance of the digital age and set up new digital branding services. Clifton was also responsible for presiding over the annual league table of the 100 most valuable brands in the world. While president of the Market Research Society, she made many significant contributions to the industry and most recently was awarded a CBE in last year’s Honors List.

Jane Frost – Frost is currently the CEO of the Market Research Society and is championing its modernization and value for members. In addition, her work to introduce the Fair Data trust mark is seeking to safeguard the public. Beyond the private sector, Frost’s work in revolutionizing HMRC’s customer intelligence and corporate strategy earned her a CBE.

Betty Adamou– Adamou is renowned in the industry for Research Games – a term she coined herself. A frequent conference speaker and writer, she’s shared her work on games and research at countless market research events worldwide, inspiring the industry at large to appreciate the benefits of adopting this approach.

Kristen Luck – One of the original pioneers of the multimedia online research business during her time at ACNielsen, Luck is also a regular speaker at industry conferences and a columnist for Research Business Report. She’s also been the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s 4 Under 40 Award and a 2010 Stevie Awards finalist.

Shaping the future of market research

When young female candidates in our industry ask me for examples of mentors and ambassadors the women above are the first names I offer. In my opinion, they’ve never stopped striving to improve the industry as a whole, innovating and disrupting with equal measure.

That said, I am worried that we’re not doing enough to attract the next generation of female industry leaders to follow in their footsteps.

As you read this, there are thousands of female undergraduates across the country preparing for final exams and considering their career options. The competition for talent has never been as fierce.

For this reason, I’d ask the industry to create a hall of fame for people who’ve shaped our industry. Men and women. But we shouldn’t stop there. We need to shout our achievements from the rooftops to make sure we attract the best and brightest if we are to secure the rightful future for this amazing industry.