Edge Hill attracts strong, self-assured students. As we continue to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK, some of our successful female alumni took time out from running their own worlds to give us their visions of a fairer world.

Tope Sadiku
BA (Hons) Accountancy – 2013

Senior EMEA Technology Finance Manager, The Kraft Heinz Company

How did your time at Edge Hill prepare you for the workplace?
“I remembering having to present a business case which, combined with the employability module, really forced me to focus on how I should tailor my approach in order to be perceived as a professional rather than a student. I also sat on the Board of Governors in my final year which exposed me to topical debates that would directly impact students. I found these top line conversations so invigorating – it was probably then that I decided I wanted to work in a head office.”

Did you use your vote as a student?
“I’ve always been interested in having a voice and being part of a movement.”

Changes for women in your lifetime?
“It has to be the focus on the gender pay gap. It feels like a long time coming and is something I’m focusing on right now with my company. I’ve started a women’s network which aims to empower women at all stages of life to be the best version of themselves.”

Inspirational women?
“I’d really like to speak with Reese Witherspoon and Sheryl Sandberg. My boss offered me a promotion to Head of Technology for Central Northern and Eastern Europe and I was a little hesitant as I had no background in technology. Around this time I heard a speech by Reese which spoke of the need for women to be bold and step into careers in science and technology, which really encouraged me to take the plunge – and I haven’t looked back since.”

Great causes?
“Women’s education. No-one can stand in the way of a well-educated woman. For me this goes far beyond classroom education, but this is a significant part of it. One of my aspirations is to run a scholarship programme which funds schemes which will better educate us women.”

What is your dream job or ultimate career ambition?
“I’m going all the way. For sure I will be C-suite [that’s where all the Chief Execs live, btw] and my aim is to sit at that executive level before I’m 30.”

Did you know…?
Tope is taking the next step on her journey to the top, with an Exec MBA at Warwick Business School.

Jeni Sturgess
BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – 2012
Clinical Director at Maximise Sports Therapy and Sports Therapist for British Para-Swimming

How did your time at Edge Hill prepare you for the workplace?
“My time at Edge Hill prepared me for work, by providing excellent placement opportunities [working with Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings, St Helens RLFC, and England Women’s Student Rugby League team], encouraging me to think outside the box, and helping me to realise my love for Sports Therapy.”

Changes for women in your lifetime?
“Seeing more women in sport, whether this is the amount of successful, professional female athletes acting as role models to young girls, or women working behind the scenes in sport.”

Inspirational woman
“Jessica Ennis-Hill – she’s an inspiration to all women, showing that you can overcome stereotypes to become an amazing success in your field.”

Great causes?
“Continuing the women in sport theme. Encouraging girls to get into sport, and also reminding us that sport was once so male-dominated, but the girls are killing it!”

Ultimate career ambition?
“I’m lucky enough to be living it. I have my own successful business with therapists working for me, and I’m lucky enough to work in elite sport with British Para-Swimming and British Cycling. Long may it continue!”

Did you know…?
Jeni is also a trained acupuncturist.

Simone Magill
BSc (Hons) Coach Education – 2016
Professional footballer with Everton FC

How did your time at Edge Hill prepare you for the workplace?
“During my time at EHU I was fortunate to work alongside the most profound researchers in my area of interest. My tutors and supervisors were brilliant, they helped challenge me academically and supported my footballing commitments. In trying to balance the two I became very organised and led a very disciplined lifestyle which has aided me in my life as a professional footballer.”

Changes for women in your lifetime?
“Growing up, there was no such thing as a full-time professional female footballer, now there is, and for young girls that’s brilliant, they have female role models to look up to now. It’s fantastic to see how our game has developed and grown. Our games are on tv now, and players are becoming household names. It’s fantastic to have been involved in the game while this has been happening.”

Dream job?
“As a child I’d always wanted to become a professional footballer. Back then I was chasing a dream as women couldn’t be fully pro (in England), but in recent years the game has progressed. I’d chased this dream my whole life, and last year I signed my first professional contract. My biggest ambition is to qualify for a major tournament with Northern Ireland.”

Did you know…?
Simone holds the world record for the fastest goal at international level, finding the net for Northern Ireland after just eleven seconds of a European qualifying match against Georgia.

Isobel Davis
BA (Hons) Dance – 2015

Dance Development and Learning Coordinator, Déda

How did your time at Edge Hill prepare you for the workplace?
“Fantastic tutors gave real insight into the world of dance from all perspectives. All areas of dance were explored which really helped us prepare for multiple pathways. Some tutors really inspired and encouraged me, and I’m forever grateful for this.”

Did you use your vote as a student?
“I believe in getting involved as we’re the people who should be moulding the planet and the future. I try to have an input, even if it’s something I know little about – I’ll do my research so that I have a valid opinion and can make my own choices.”

Inspirational woman?
“I would love to talk to Margot Fonteyn, an inspirational ballet dancer who lived through many battles, both personal and political. She had a movie star lifestyle while with various ballet companies, but was living in poverty by the end of her career. It was through learning about Margot that I began to question why I dance and what I want from dance. She also taught me the importance of doing what I love.”

Ultimate career ambition?
“I’d love to continue sharing my love of dance, supporting people of all ages, gender and dancing ability. I would love to become a mentor to other budding artists as I love to share my experiences and make a positive impact on others.”

Did you know…?
Isobel works on several community projects, including a dance piece for care leavers based on a zombie apocalypse, and Dance with Dementia, helping people with dementia to participate in dance.

Who else is making a difference after graduation from EHU?