International Women's Day 2023

Hind Hassan wearing a Press vest and helmet in Iraq

Journalist Hind Hassan (Medicinal Chemistry 2007) broadcasts from the most hostile environments in the world

Journalist Hind Hassan (Medicinal Chemistry 2007) broadcasts from the most hostile environments in the world

On International Women's Day, meet women from the global Leeds community who are inspiring others across the world.

Join the celebration of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and meet the Leeds alumni making a difference.

Hind Hassan

Reporting from the epicentre of the story

Hind Hassan reporting from the roadside in Uganda

Hind Hassan (Medicinal Chemistry 2007): Correspondent for VICE News

Award-winning VICE news journalist Hind Hassan chose her career path after working on the Leeds student newspaper. Now, she broadcasts from the most hostile environments in the world – from the conflict in Ukraine, to the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria – elevating the voices of those unheard.

Alumni Spotlight

Action shop of Jodie Cunningham playing rugby league for England

Jodie Cunningham (BSc Medical Sciences 2013): Rugby League International

Jodie Cunningham giving a speech at the Leeds Sport Hall of Fame awards

Newly inducted to the Leeds Sport Hall of Fame, Jodie Cunningham led St Helens to the first ever Women's Super League treble and helped England to the semi-finals of the 2022 Rugby League World Cup.

Aya Al-Sharqawy (MSc Environment and Development 2020): Founder of Recyclizer

Aya Al-Sharqawy smiling for the camera in a field of crops

When growing up in Cairo, plastic pollutants had a devastating impact upon Aya Al-Sharqawy and her family. It was the motivation she needed to tackle the crisis head on after Leeds.

Anu Shah (MBA 2012): Entrepreneur

Anu Shah smiling for a photo wearing a white blazer and leaning against a grey wall

A serial entrepreneur who has sold her businesses for millions, Anu Shah redefined the image of success by donating her fortune and skillset to those in need.

Caroline Abel (BA Economics Studies 1999): Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles

Caroline Abel sat posing for a photo in front of a wood panelled wall

Winner of the Global Women Achievers Award at the 2022 World Women Leadership Congress Awards, Caroline Abel is one of the most influential figures in the Seychelles.

Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh (MPh Public Health 2016): Poison Information Coordinator

Professional portrait photo of Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh

Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh received international recognition for her work to prevent lead poisoning in children across Jamaica.

Olivia Cotes-James (BA English Literature 2013): Founder of LUÜNA Naturals

Olivia Cotes-Jones posing with her LUÜNA Naturals products. She is holding and looking at a menstrual cup

When Olivia Cotes-James graduated from Leeds, she never imagined founding a female-led period care company in Asia. Named in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list, founder of LUÜNA Naturals Olivia Cotes-James (English Literature 2013) is improving lives across a continent.

Namrah Shahid (Chemistry 2016, MSc 2017, PhD 2021): Founder of The Hijabi Runners

Namrah Shahid on the right smiling and running alongside another woman. Both are wearing hijabs.

Namrah Shahid (right). Credit: Benjamin Statham

Namrah Shahid (right). Credit: Benjamin Statham

By forming Hijabi Runners, Namrah Shahid helped other South Asian and Muslim women realise that running could be for them, too.

Forever Leeds

Catch some of the inspiring women who joined us as guests on our Forever Leeds podcast.

Amanda Blanc (MBA 1999): Group CEO of Aviva and Women in Finance Champion

Professional portrait photo of Amanda Blanc. She is smiling for the camera and wearing a white jacket

Martine Croxall (BA Geography 1990): BBC News Presenter

Selfie photo of Martine Croxall

Pandora Sykes (BA English 2009): Author and Podcaster

Pandora Sykes smiles for a professional photo, with her head rested on her chin.

Rebecca Klein (BSc Zoology 1995): Executive Director at Cheetah Conservation Botswana

Rebecca Klein stands outside in Botswana in front of a tree, she is smiling for the camera

Forever Leeds

312,000 alumni
197 countries
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Two students, sat by a window. One is using a mobile phone and the other learning using a tablet.