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City's Extraordinary Women

City women have been achieving the extraordinary since 1894.

Here we celebrate some of the great many whose work or study at City forms part of a remarkable story of achievement. These women inspire us because they’ve been ready to try, to challenge and to lead; making life better for others and pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished.

Gwendolyn Myers

Gwendolyn Myers

MA International Politics and Human Rights, 2020

By the age of 13 Gwendolyn Myers was already a voice for youth in Liberia. At 17 she founded the charity ‘Messengers of Peace’, which equips former child soldiers with skills to help them rebuild society. She delivered a landmark address to the UN Peacebuilding Commission on young people being included in work around peace and security and has been globally recognised for her work.

Sandie Okoro

Sandie Okoro

Senior Vice-President and General Counsel at the World Bank Group The City Law School, 1988 | Honorary Doctor of Law, 2014

Sandie Okoro is a British lawyer, appointed in 2016 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the World Bank Group. Ms. Okoro has been named in the Powerlist top 100 most influential people in Britain of African and African Caribbean Heritage for several years in a row, and is a leading voice on gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Nicole Young

Producer at 60 Minutes
International Journalism MA, 2003

Nicole Young is an award-winning senior producer at the CBS Evening News and a producer for 60 Minutes, the most watched news programme in America.

Catherine Pine

Catherine Pine

St Bartholomew’s School of Nursing, 1895 - 1897

Catherine Pine was a nurse who cared for suffragette hunger strikers after their release from Holloway prison.

Marjorie Bell

Marjorie Bell

Electronic Engineering, 1934

Marjorie was the first female student on the Northampton Institute’s Electronic Engineering course. She became a successful engineer with the factory inspectorate and received a medal for her service during World War Two.

Professor Tong Sun

Director of Research Centre of Photonics and Instrumentation, City, University of London

Tong’s research focuses on optical fibre sensors for industry, allowing monitoring of various structural conditions, security, food quality, the environment and early fire. Since 2010 she has been City’s most successful female member of staff in terms of external research funding.

Pamela Castle

Dr Pamela Castle OBE

PG Dip Law 1985; Honorary Doctor of Law, 2013
Chair of Castle Debates

Pamela is a highly respected environmental law practitioner, environmental campaigner and educator. She was the first female Chair of the UK Environmental Law Association. In 2005 she was made an OBE for services to the environment.

Kathryn Lampard CBE

Law 1983
Vice Chairman, NHS England South

Kathryn is a former barrister, National Health Service Executive and Deputy Chairwoman of the Financial Ombudsman Service. She was appointed by the Department of Health to oversee its investigation into Jimmy Savile. She was made CBE in 2015.

Dora Opoku OBE

Head of Department, Midwifery and Child Health, City, University of London 1995-2010

Dora was a leading figure in the development of midwifery education in London. She chaired the City and East London research ethics committee and was appointed OBE in recognition of services to midwifery education.

Professor Sally Byng OBE

Professor Sally Byng OBE

Chief Executive of the Barnwood House Trust. Head of Division of Language and Communication Science, 1993 - 2002

Sally has dedicated her life to helping those with disabilities, playing an integral role in the development of a national strategy for improving stroke services and through her work with the Barnwood House Trust, which supports people with disabilities and mental health challenges.

Professor Julienne Meyer CBE

Professor Julienne Meyer CBE

Professor of Nursing, City, University of London

Julienne leads research and development in Care for Older People at City and was awarded a CBE in 2015 for her vision and leadership on promoting quality of life in care homes across the UK.

Abiodun Oyepitan

MA Sociology 2004
Sprint athlete

In 2004 Abi became the first British female to reach an Olympic final in a sprint event for 20 years, reaching the semi-finals of the 100m. In the 2012 Games in London she reached the semi-finals in both the 100m and the 200m.

Professor Michèle Barrett

Professor of Modern Literary & Cultural Theory, Queen Mary University of London

Michèle joined the Department of Sociology at City in 1975 and in 1989 became our first female Professor. She is a noted social theorist, Virginia Woolf scholar and an expert on the social and cultural history of the First World War.

Dr Sophie Raworth

Dr Sophie Raworth

PG Dip Broadcast Journalism 1992
Newsreader and Journalist, BBC

Sophie is one of Britain’s most recognisable newscasters. She joined the BBC in 1992 and has presented several news and current affairs programmes. A passionate ambassador for journalism, she gives regular talks to City students.

Stav Shaffir

Stav Shaffir

BA Sociology and Journalism 2009
Member of Israeli Parliament

Stav is the youngest female Knesset member in Israel's history. She was part of City’s Olive Tree Scholarship Program, which supported future leaders who desired to change the status quo of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Marianne Young

PG Dip Journalism 1994
Deputy Head of Global Economic Issues, UK Foreign Office

Marianne joined the UK diplomatic service in 2001. She served as the British High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Namibia from 2011-15. She currently heads a department managing the FCO’s Climate Diplomacy and Global Economy units.

Carol Sergeant CBE

MBA 1979

Carol is one of the most prominent executives in the UK financial sector. Her roles have included Head of Major Banks Supervision at the Bank of England and Managing Director at the Financial Services Authority.

Carmel McConnell MBE

Carmel McConnell MBE

MBA 1993
Founder Magic Breakfast

Carmel is the founder of the social enterprise Magic Outcomes that engages businesses in supporting primary schools in deprived areas and Magic Breakfast which provides breakfasts for primary school children.

Professor Paula Jarzabkowski

Professor Paula Jarzabkowski

Professor of Strategic Management, City, University of London

Paula has been at the forefront of research for business for nearly 20 years. She led the first global ethnography of the reinsurance industry and her work was recognised by the 2013 Outstanding Impact on Business Award from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Her Honour Judge Barbara Mensah

Her Honour Judge Barbara Mensah

Dip Law 1983, Honorary Doctor of Law 2016, City, University of London
Circuit Judge, Luton Crown Court

Judge Mensah became the first Circuit Judge of African origin. She has enjoyed an extensive career at the Bar and on the Bench and has made a notable contribution to legal education as a lecturer at City.

Judith Morris

Judith Morris

BSc, MSc FCOptom 1971
Senior Lecturer, City, University of London 2001 - 2015

Judith is a leading figure in optometry. Following her studies at City she was a Research Fellow at Moorfields Eye Hospital. In 1991 she was appointed Director of the Institute of Optometry. In 2001 she returned to City as Director of Contact Lens Teaching.

Professor Susan Gathercole

Professor Susan Gathercole

PhD 1983
Director, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

Susan researches specific learning difficulties in children with a particular emphasis on understanding memory problems and how they can be supported through training and in the classroom. In 2014 she became a Fellow of the British Academy.

Julie Gibson

Julie Gibson

BSc Air Transport 1984

In 1991 Flight Lieutenant Julie Gibson became the first operational female pilot in the Royal Air Force, flying Andovers and the multi-engined Hercules transport. She went on to become the RAF’s first female aircraft Captain.

Alison Macfarlane

Professor Alison Macfarlane

Professor of Perinatal Health, City, University of London

Alison is a perinatal epidemiologist and statistician interested in the evaluation of maternity care in its socio-economic context. Her research focuses on settings for birth and health inequalities. She worked with campaigner Efua Dorkenoo on the prevalence of female genital mutilation in England and Wales.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE

MSc Computing 1986
Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton

Wendy is one of the most influential people in IT in the world. She invented the Microcosm hypermedia system that predated the World Wide Web and pioneered research in multimedia and hypermedia.

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