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Queens Of Manchester

After the Queen's Jubilee celebrations here's our list of Manchester’s own prominent women

Published on June 6th 2012.

Queens Of Manchester

OUR current monarch’s impossibly long reign has reached its sixtieth year, and an amalgamation of this combined with Olympic fever has seen a wave of patriotism sweep over the nation.

Whilst this is all very well and good, one can’t help but notice that all of this activity has centred upon our capital city. In the midst of all this Southern buzz, it is important - neigh, imperative - to remember Manchester’s own prominent women.

Following the precedent set by native Emmeline Pankhurst, females are progressively becoming a more and more dominant force. With spheres such as academia, arts and culture, politics and television experiencing an injection of fantastically talented women in our fair city, it seemed only appropriate to compile a list of our own queens...

Elaine BoyesElaine BoyesElaine Boyes:  The appointment of Elaine Boyes as Lord Mayor of Manchester surely marks her out as one of our most prominent women. With previous incarnations as a receptionist and a secretary, her election from councillor to Mayor is a culmination of years of experience, which she states has ‘given (her) the opportunity to help people in the right direction with many problems they themselves couldn’t resolve on their own’. For Ms Boyes, Manchester is a ‘leading light’ of gender and racial equality, which is reflected in the high proportion of women in high flying careers in diverse sectors within this city. Professional progression may not, however, always be mirrored in society at large, as the Lord Mayor speaks of her outrage at a local club which denied access to women. Using her position to refute a culture of misogyny, she has secured a change in rules to allow females unrestricted entry. With changes such as this, Elaine actively seeks challenges ingrained, institutionalised sexism; showing just how significant it is to have women campaigning against the prejudices that face their gender. 



Dr Maria BalshawDr Maria BalshawDr Maria Balshaw: This former academic attained her doctorate from Sussex University in African American Visual Culture, before going on to hold a position at Birmingham. From there she began her career in the arts and culture sector, entering the Core Leadership Programme. Her ascent into the world of public arts administration began when she was headhunted for her current position as Director of the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery in 2006, a role which she has now combined with a the highly prestigious position of Director of the Manchester Art Gallery.



 Michelle KeeganMichelle KeeganMichelle Keegan:  The four time winner of ‘Sexiest Female’ award at the British Soap Awards has been playing Tina McIntyre in Coronation Street since 2007. After a stint selling make up in Selfridges alongside weekly acting lessons, she landed the role that catapulted her to fame after a mere two auditions. Now incessantly followed by the paparazzi due to her relationship with The Wanted’s Max George, the star of this 22-year-old is sure  to continue to command column inches for the foreseeable future.



Dame Nancy RothwellDame Nancy RothwellDame Nancy Rothwell: The current President and Vice- Chancellor of the University of Manchester’s C.V. is, frankly, awe inspiring. With a PhD in Physiology, seemingly infinite prestigious positions (including President of the Society of Biology and non- executive director of AstraZeneca) and accolades such as the Pfizer Research Prize for her work on the role of inflammation in brain disease, this is a prime example of a woman at the very top of her game. Promoting and communicating science to the public is another of Professor Rothwell’s endeavours. Regularly giving talks to schools, television and the press, she aims to increase her discipline’s accessibility- an issue of extreme importance to Dame Nancy.

She notes that: ‘While many women enter academic at early career levels, the numbers who go on to senior positions remains very low.’ This is notably demonstrated by the fact that of the 24 ‘Russell Group’ universities, she is the only female Vice- Chancellor. As a woman who has broken through the barriers which impede many females on their way to prominent professional positions, she advises others to ‘Spend more time thinking about the many things you are good at, rather than your weaknesses.’



Mary-Ellen McTagueMary-Ellen McTagueMary-Ellen McTague: Mary-Ellen is the chef and owner (along with her husband, Laurence Tottingham) of the fantastic Aumbry in Prestwich. Having formerly worked under food magician supremeo Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, the chef duo headed to the North West to start their own business in 2009. With a menu consisting of brilliant local produce cooked to perfection (for example, the famous Bury blackpudding scotch egg), McTague’s cooking does not need to hide behind gastronomic wizardry.



Vicky RosinVicky RosinVicky Rosin: Ms Rosin, the Assistant Chief Executive at Manchester City Council, has like the Lord Mayor achieved a high ranking position within an often heavily male professional environment. For her, the council is exemplary in terms of its equal opportunities record. She observes that ‘Within Manchester City Council, women account for 63.5 per cent of the total workforce, with an almost even split in the top 5 per cent of earners’. Whilst appreciating that this is not the case among all sectors and that there is still significant way to go in terms of closing the gender pay gap, she comments that ‘When compared to other Local Authorities across the North West, Manchester comes out on top for developing women in management and leadership roles’.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Zill NiaziJune 8th 2012.

Proud of them all.

DavidJune 8th 2012.

I went to Aumbry in Prestwich, and the wine was very expensive along with the food, which came in very small portions.......totally disappointed!

DavidJune 8th 2012.

I recently went to Aumbry and was disappointed. The wine and food were expensive, and the food came in very small portions.

SmittyJune 8th 2012.

David, David, David... Say it ain't so! I've been to Aumbrey a couple of times and absolutely love it. My better half doesn't drink, and they match a glass of wine for each course, which is lovely. Food is gorgeous. mmmmm

DavidJune 10th 2012.

What a dreary list.Also significantly none of them are business talents and none of them are non white.

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