Women who inspire us!

Women who inspire us!

March 6, 2019

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we asked staff about a woman in their life that inspires them. Here is what they said:

“A woman in my life that inspires me is one of my good friends, Venandah. She is branching out into the world of corporate business with a view to later become a policymaker, and I have personally witnessed with my own two eyes the work she has put in to get to the level she's currently at. For someone my age to be that driven and motivated, it has only encouraged me to change for the better.” - Chyoma, Birmingham


“I have to say my Mum! Always has been. She trained and worked as a midwife and then when my Dad passed away when I was four and my sister was seven she had to change career as the shift work pattern and salary didn’t work for us a family anymore. She did a women in business course and then started working as a pharmaceutical rep and then various roles in the management side of the NHS, all whilst bringing me and my sister up on her own. She taught me that women could do anything they put their mind to and has always supported me throughout my life in both career and home life.” - Louise, Cardiff


“My mum, Sallie. She dedicated her career to working with Traveller and Roma families, both in person on sites teaching families how to read, write and more. Beyond this she then worked with local councils and schools to work against prejudice that was happening towards these families when they did try and join the education system. She had a big impact on many people and helped implement national change, representing those who struggled to get their voices heard. But perhaps most importantly she also taught me from a young age about respecting other cultures, and not to be afraid or treat them badly just because they choose a different way of life. “ - Beth, Birmingham


“My sister is my biggest inspiration. She has always taught me, unintentionally, to be kind and to respect all people no matter their background. She's always un-apologetically herself and in the best way possible and she really doesn't care what people think of her. I always think of her when I'm asked who my role model is, the way she has dealt with hard times has completely changed my outlook on how I deal with things which is too put things in an imaginary closet and deal with them on at a time when you're in a space that suits you - it really works!” - Charlie, Birmingham


“I am very inspired by my a good friend of mine and fellow UpRising Birmingham alumni Anisa Haghdadi, she is the Founder and CEO of an extremely successful organisation in Birmingham that has given opportunity to so many young creatives in the region, she ensures her closest friends feel so loved and appreciated and has just given birth to most precious baby. She personifies work-life balance in an effective way and is still so human and honest when it goes wrong sometimes.” - Mikayla, Birmingham


“My Grandma Jean and Grandma Gerty. Both passed now, one of which we lost last July, but were both amazing women, who made change in so many ways, in their own way!


Grandma Jean was a retired teacher, who had so much passion for her profession. Students she taught would always come up and say hi, years later! During her retirement she was still active in her community, and volunteered in a food bank. We would always find her adding extra items into her shopping, to take with her for people who accessed the food bank. She was still a proud Rochdale Lion, and would still dress up as 'Mrs Claus' every year at Christmas.


Grandma Gerty was a small lady, who had a small handbag and a giant passion for a bargain! She was a very active member of the local community. She always challenged people's ideas, ad would be found protesting outside companies, and being interviewed on TV for her views. She was a family-oriented person, and being around family was very important to her. She made the most amazing chocolate cake, which to this day I can't find anything else like it!” - Nathan, Manchester


“Two women that have inspired me in my own life are two of my past professors. Dr. Christina Bellon at California State University, Sacramento and Dr. Susanne Burri at the London School of Economics. Both of these women have worked there way to leadership roles at their universities. Dr.Bellon, who was the Chair of the Philosophy department while I as a student is now associate Dean for Budget and Assessment, College of Arts & Letters. Dr. Burri was the main point of contact for students doing their MSc degree. She is incredibly motivating to students without giving them unrealistic expectations of their futures. These two women have shown me that I can be whoever I want to be in or out of academia, and have taught be valuable lessons about presenting myself and being taken serious as a woman in male dominated fields.” - Channing, London


Photo by Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash