February 9, 2022
Dr Nipa Miah speaking at Univeristy Centre Leeds

Students at University Centre Leeds have been given an inspirational insight into the lives of two female leaders.

Local GP Dr Nipa Miah and Director of Student Life at Leeds City College, Andrea Cowans, spoke to a 30-strong audience at the opening of the University Centre’s 2022 Women in Leadership programme.

The six week campaign is designed to inform and empower female students by letting them hear from people who have overcome various barriers to fill high-pressured leadership roles.

The launch event took place on Thursday 3 February and made a big impression on those attending.

Breaking away from old fashioned views

Deputy Head of Business at University Centre Leeds, Sarah Cook, said: “The students just loved it with one saying, very eloquently, that we need role models like these to show us that there are ways of breaking out of old fashioned views.

“Dr Miah talked about coming up against the view, which her parents had, of ‘why become a doctor if you can marry a doctor?’

“She overcame family opposition and has now been a GP for 18 years, and had a remarkable story to tell. She was incredibly impressive – a real example of what you can achieve.

“The students said it was brilliant and that we need to hear more from people like this, they found her story very moving.

”Andrea, meanwhile, talked about her experience of leadership and how she really kind of fell into it, and used her life experiences to succeed.”

Off to a great start

Sarah added: “Both talks went down very well and that’s the best thing about this programme, hearing people telling their stories. They both spoke passionately and shared personal insights, and it was a sign of how much the students enjoyed it that, afterwards, they gathered around the speakers and wanted to talk to them.

“We’re delighted with how the launch event went, it really gave the students some insight into the lives of people in leadership roles and got our programme off to a great start.”

The programme continues on Thursday 10 February when the guest speaker will be award-winning social mobility champion (and senior civil servant) Carole Lovstrom MBE, who will be talking about the civil service and how to engage with employers.

Other subjects that will be covered in coming weeks include imposter syndrome, confidence and personal branding.