25 most inspirational women in Glasgow

Who run the world? Glaswegian girls

From our bloggers, to our brightest minds, Glasgow women have a lot to offer the world. It’s not all about London you know.


Jamie Grant @JamieGeneveive


A YouTube blogger, Jamie creates stunning make-up looks and shares tutorials with her followers. With over 100,000 followers, she is most definitely an influential figure in Glasgow, not only online but offline as well. Working as a make-up artist in Debenhams at the start of her rise to fame, she recalls being shown a picture of herself as a template to work from and since then, her popularity has only grown.

She has signed into a partnership with StyleHaul London and has been contacted by Bellami, whose other clients include Kylie Jenner, to endorse hair extensions. She keeps fairly active on her Instagram account, showing off all of her beautiful makeup looks and the places that her talent takes her. Jamie has previously said

“When I left school some of the girls were like, ‘what are you going to do with make-up?’ It seems to have done pretty well for me”

Damn straight. Maybe we shouldn’t feel too bad about spending £30 on highlighter.


Kate La Vie @KateLaVie


Based in Glasgow, Kate La Vie is an Instagram blogger; covering all things beauty, interiors and travel.  Her Instagram is really calming to look at, like a very high fashion IKEA magazine, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. She has also started her own stationary and print shop under the name Nouvelle @nouvelledaily which stocks the most adorable fiddly stationary things I’ve ever seen. It’s the kind of stuff you should walk past but you just can’t.

Lori Thomson @GlasgowBeautyBlogger




Pam Gilmour @GlasgowFoodGeek


Pam is an Instagram blogger under the name ‘glasgowfoodgeek’.  Based in the West End of Glasgow, Pam visits restaurants all over the city documenting all of the beautiful dishes our city has to offer. She was kind enough to tell me a little bit about what she does and why she does it.

“When I started Glasgow Food Geek it was as a fun little project for my husband and myself, we had just moved into the west end of Glasgow and didn’t want to get into a rut of going to the same restaurants all the time. I decided to make a list of 100 restaurants that I wanted to try. I never really set out to become a ‘blogger’ I didn’t think anyone would really be that interested to be honest. I only put in online for my family in Dundee to be able to read.

To her surprise, a lot of us are interested. Especially with photos you just can’t ignore, like this;



Contrary to most insta-trends just now, she doesn’t appear to give a damn about whether it’s healthy or not. This Instagram is for foodies  who are willing to pay the price for true delicious  treats; featuring massive burgers, pizzas dripping with cheese, iced donuts and a particularly good-looking, flaming, coffee cream brulee (oh my God).



Pam told me that an important part of her blogging is supporting local restaurants and she tries not to include a lot of big chains.

“I love Glasgow and the people of the city, so by accident GFG has kind of morphed into a bit of a crusade for local businesses. I don’t really talk too much on the blog about chain restaurants anymore I like to focus as much as possible on independent places. And it makes me incredibly happy when people send me messages telling me how they’ve found a new favourite restaurant they had never heard of because of my review, or they stop me on the street to tell me they have tried somewhere that I suggested on twitter and they loved it just as much as I did. I am always chuffed to bits that people are helping to support the brilliant local businesses we are lucky enough to have in Glasgow.

As we all well know, ‘People Make Glasgow’ and it’s especially true here. Her Instagram blogging has created a community for Glasgow foodies to share experiences of local restaurants and a bit of well-deserved exposure for businesses that might not have otherwise had the same publicity. I asked her the obvious question; “what has been your favourite dish in Glasgow so far?”

“Because of the amazing food scene we have in the city, it’s actually impossible for me to pick a favourite dish, in fact I can’t even pick a favourite restaurant! I would say the things I eat most would be the Pastrami Burger and bacon fries from Bread Meats Bread and the Spaghetti meatballs followed by Apple pie at Don Costanzo. Honestly tho (sic) I could give you another 10 places that I love too.’

Bread Meats Bread is an all-round favourite for a lot of people just now, but I hadn’t heard of Don Constanzo until Pam mentioned it to me. As a massive foodie myself, I’ll have to pop in and give them a try!


Mhairi Black
No matter your political leanings, it’s impossible to ignore Mhairi Black and the massive impact she has had in Parliament. She was only twenty years old when elected last year, beating out Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. She has become a hit on YouTube after her open and direct manner of addressing issues in the House of Commons, with her maiden speech reaching a staggering ten million views across various media outlets within only five days of release.

Black is currently fighting for under 25’s against the age discrimination of the national minimum wage brackets.

Gina Thom

From a young age, Gina was placed under the care of her grandmother when her mother was deemed unfit to care for her and her siblings. When she was 17, Action for Children Scotland stepped in to offer her a place on their Transitions project and was able to bag a position with Glasgow City Council. She has recently been in contact with her mother and has also been honoured by Action for Children Scotland with the “Woman of Influence Community Award”.

Even through hardship, Gina shows that with a bit of hard work and support it is possible to achieve things that may seem impossible.

Sheila McLean
Professor Sheila McLean is director of the Insitute of Law and Ethics in Medicine at the School of Law of the Univesity of Glasgow. Yes, it might be a mouthful, but it takes some serious effort to get a title as long as that.

Professor Sheila McLean is a distinguished legal scholar, educated at Glasgow High School for Girls and later at the University of Glasgow. Her current titles include; Specialist Advisor House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology; Member, BMA Ethics Committee; Member, Wellcome Trust, Biomedical Ethics Panel; Member, Policy and Evaluation Advisory Committee, Nuffield Trust. It’s safe to say that she’s a pretty busy lady, and if I achieve half as much in my life-time I’ll be happy.

Michelle Mone

The Right Honourable Baroness Mone has possibly the strangest mixture of achievements on this list. She grew up in Glasgow’s East End and left school at 15 to become a model, but her promising career was cut short when she became pregnant with her first child. After this pursuit ended, (the modelling, not the parenting) she tried her hand at marketing and within two years at the Labatt brewing company she had become their Head of Marketing in Scotland. After admitting to embellishing a little on her C.V. (we’ve all considered it), she was made redundant, giving her the time and money to set up her own business. She threw her energy into creating a bra that would enhance cleavage whilst being more comfortable and better looking (THANK YOU) under the brand Ultimo. She then resigned her directorship of her brands so there wouldn’t be a conflict of interest as she pursued her parliamentary role as a member of the House of Lords.  What a life.

While some of her actions have created controversy, this is a woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, to try new things, and to work her arse off.

Amal Azzudin, Roza Salih, Agnesa Murselaj, Ewelina Siwak, Toni-Lee Henderson, Jennifer McCarron, Emma Clifford

Here, I reserve seven spaces for the equally deserving members of the Glasgow Girls activist group.

The Glasgow Girls were a group of seven young ladies in Glasgow who campaigned in 2005 against the poor treatment of asylum seekers after one of their friends, Adnesa Murselaj, was detained.

They gathered publicity and media support after visitng the Scottish Parliament twice and challenging the then First Minister on the matter, asking about the ‘protocal’ that he had promised to deliver.

A BBC television drama was created about the Glasgow Girls in 2014, following the success of the modern musical which ran in the Citizens Theatre Glasgow and in Stratford East Theatre in London.

The group won the Scottish Campaign of the Year Award in 2005 and have had two documentaries made by the BBC about their struggles with “Tales from the Edge: Glasgow Girls” winning the Nations and Regions Award in the 15th annual Amnesty International UK Media Awards.


Laura Bartlett

At only 24, Laura Bartlett is a London Olympic Bronze medalist in field hockey, playing as a midfielder.

Her list of awards include;

British Hockey Athlete of the Year in 2011

Champions Challenge I (Bronze) 2011

Champions Trophy (Silver) 2012

Olympic Games (Bronze) 2012

Emily Maguire

Another hockey player who won Bronze at the London Olympics. Clearly why they did so well, with two Glaswegians on the team (and one in the reserves; Abi Walker).

Her list of awards include;

EuroHockey Nations Championship II (Gold) 2011

Champions Challenge I (Bronze) 2011

Champions Trophy (Silver) 2012

Olympic Games (Bronze) 2012

Katherine Grainger

She took home the GOLD medal for rowing at the London Olympics in 2012, she is a three time Olympic silver medalist in Beijing, Athens and Sydney and has been a World Champion six times from 1997-2011. A seriously impressive woman.


Janice Galloway

Liz Lockhead

Liz Lockhead is a Scottish writer, born in a “little ex-mining village just outside Motherwell” and is currently the National Poet of Scotland. She won her first award in the form of the BBC Scotland Poetry Competition in 1971 and her first collection of poetry, “Memo for Spring”, was published only one year later. In 2005 she was named Poet Laureate for Glasgow and held the position until she stepped down six years later when she was named Scots Makar.

She was writer in residence at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Glasgow University, the University of Edinburgh, Glasgow School of Art, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Eton. So you don’t need me to tell you how good her work is.

If that isn’t enough, she currently holds the title of Honorary President of Caledonian Cultural Fellows at GCU and has recently been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry; a title that only 11 women and 8 Scots have ever been awarded.

Kelly MacDonald

May Miles Thomas

May Miles Thomas is a screenwriter, director, editor and all round creative from Glasgow. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art before working at the BBC as a filmmaker.

She went on to create the UK’s first end-to-end full-length digital film One Life Stand, creating, directing and editing the film herself, setting a precedent for future UK low budget films and winning the Scottish Screen Outstanding Achievement Award. One Life Stand also won multiple awards at the BAFTA New Talent Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Writer and Best Performance and an award at the British Independent Film Awards in 2000 for Best Achievement in Production.

As well as all of these awards, she was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to British Cinema.

Laura Fraser

Karen Dunbar

Glaswegian comedian and all round entertainer; she is incredibly funny. You might remember her from the ‘lost wean’ sketch in Chewin’ the Fat or from her own series, The Karen Dunbar Show.

She has appeared in multiple pantomimes, has performed extensively at the Fringe and was also lead compere at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Featuring on the Scotsman’s “Pink List” in 2014 for her contribution to Scottish culture and having been voted Role Model of the Year at the Icon Awards one year later, she is a prominent member of the LGBTQA+ society and has recently spoken about marrying her partner Linda. In a four part BBC documentary called ‘I Belong to Glasgow’ episode one features Karen Dunbar, who speaks about how she found acceptance in Glasgow’s LGBT community.