Here are five inspiring women you never knew attended UoB

Celebrating female University of Birmingham graduates for International Women’s Day


Today (March 8th) is International Women’s Day 2022, which recognises the contribution that female and non-binary people make in the world. It is a time to shine the light on the accomplishments that they have made in different cultural spheres.

To mark this day of celebration, we’ve looked at five female University of Birmingham graduates who, after leaving the realms of our Edgbaston campus and bidding farewell to the streets of Selly, have gone on to achieve major success in their respective fields.

Tamsin Greig (BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1988)

Perhaps best known for playing Jackie in Friday Night Dinner, she has also appeared in The Lenny Henry show, Doctor Who, Jane Austen’s Emma, and Green Wing.

In 2006, she played the role of Beatrice in the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing, earning her an Olivier and London Critics’ Award.

Dr. Dame Hilda Nora Lloyd, DBE (BSc Pure Science, 1914, MBChB Medicine, 1916)

Dame Hilda was a British physician and surgeon. In 1949 she was the first woman to be elected as President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

She was especially concerned with problems of the urban poor women, such as STDs. As a result, she employed and pioneered flying squads which helped to save the lives of mother and babies who would have otherwise died. She became a lecturer in 1934 and a professor in 1944.

Hannah England (BSc Biochemistry, 2009)

In 2011, Hannah was awarded a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, and competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games for Team GB. She competes in 1500m races.

Hannah is one of only five British women in history to have run under two minutes for 800m, and nine minutes for 3000m. She announced her retirement from athletics on 14 January 2020.

Ellie Crisell (BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1998)

Many will remember Ellie presenting Newsround when we were younger. She currently hosts BBC’s South East Today, having first started her career on radio and Channel 5 television news updates, being offered Newsround in 2003.

Ellie talks about her time at UoB: “The course I chose was perfect for me, and what made my time there so special was the people I met. I made a big bunch of friends in freshers’ week and we’re still really close now.” She also writes: “I immediately fell in love with the place, as soon as I got there I felt at home. I found kindred spirits really quickly, and it’s a place I’d recommend to anyone.”

Victoria Wood (BA Drama, 1974)

National treasure Victoria Wood was a comedian, actress, musician and writer for over 30 years. Her career first took off when she was still a student at Birmingham, when she won a TV talent show called New Faces. Following this, she had an extremely successful career in entertainment, performing stand up comedy and sitcoms.

She won two BAFTAs and was awarded an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2008. Sadly, Victoria died from cancer of the oesophagus on 20th April 2016, surrounded by her family.

Featured image via The Express Online YouTube, Athletics Weekly YouTube and Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland YouTube

Related stories recommended by this author:

• Birmingham holds vigil in solidarity with Ukraine

• Birmingham biomed grad evacuated from Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia

• Birmingham medics FC fined after supporters shouted homophobic slurs at a football match