International Womens Day 2022 – 5 stories of women working hard to #breakthebias

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.” – tagline for International Women’s Day 2022

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! 

We LOVE hearing your stories, and get to hear so many of them through the various activities and programmes that we run here at the Careers Service; The Bristol PLUS Award, SME internship scheme, Bristol Mentors, New Enterprise Competition and much more.

Today, we are taking the opportunity to highlight and acknowledge a handful of brilliant female students and graduates who have helped to #breakthebias by exemplifying the missions of International Women’s Day through their various projects, start-ups, and volunteering activities. Prepare to be inspired!

IWD mission: To shine a spotlight on activity uplifting and inspiring women to pursue goals without bias or barrier

Arooba Hameed, Year 3 Cancer Biology and Immunology (BSc)

Picture of Arooba

Arooba completely embodies this mission and recently won £1000 of funding in the Development Stage of the New Enterprise Competition for the non-profit community group she founded, Higher Education for Asylum Seekers & Refugees (HEAR). HEAR aims to support refugees and asylum seekers in accessing educational opportunities through guidance, training, mentoring & advocacy.

“HEAR is a volunteer-led, organisation that works with women from disadvantaged backgrounds and helps them to get back to their chosen goals, whether it be education or employment. As of last year, HEAR has helped 30 women reach their goals and more women are openly seeking assistance to move ahead in life. We have delivered sessions on how to seek employment, CV writing, one-to-one sessions on personal statement writing, and physical health. “- Arooba

IWD mission: To assist women to be in a position of power to make informed decisions about their health

Josephine Rahman, Year 3 Medical Humanities (BA)

Picture of Josephine

“My voluntary work within sexpression:UK increased access to free, comprehensive relationships and sex education for students across Bristol and nationally” – Josephine

Josephine volunteered for sexpression:UK a student volunteer-led charity that provides access to reliable information about relationships, sex, and sexuality and aims to empower young people to make individual, informed decisions regarding their bodies and their health.

Josephine used her volunteering experience towards achieving The Bristol PLUS Award.

IWD mission: To celebrate the work of women creatives and elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions

Eve Coleman, Year 3 English (BA)

Picture of Eve

During her time as Equalities Officer at University of Bristol’s sketch comedy society “Revunions”, Eve wasted no time in working to elevate the visibility of female comedians:

“(During my time) as Equalities Officer of the Bristol Revunions, I hosted a Gender in Comedy workshop over Zoom where we discussed access and representation issues for women and gender minorities in the comedy world. Along with the Equalities Officer for Bristol Improv Society, I have also organised a Race in Comedy Workshop and an LGBTQ+ representation in comedy event. My favourite project that we co-ordinated was a Women’s Stand-Up night where we invited student stand-up        comics and local professionals to perform a short set over Zoom.” – Eve

Eve used her experience in her student representation role at Bristol Revunions towards completing The Bristol PLUS Award.

IWD mission: To elevate women forging change via technology and sustainability in communities, workplaces and beyond

Nell Cox, Year 3 Religion and Theology (BA)

Picture of Nell

Not only did Nell sew Scrubs for NHS workers, but she also lent her needle and thread skills to The Pachamama Project, a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation growing a global network of volunteers to make reusable sanitary pads for refugees around the world dealing with period poverty.

“I started sewing scrubs for NHS workers, this sparked me to find other voluntary sewing organisations within Bristol and I came across the wonderful ‘Pachamama Project’. This organisation makes reusable pads for women and girls all over the world, unable to buy sanitary products. Both sewing organisations continue to make products for those who need them and because I continue to learn from those running them, and other volunteers, I will continue to work for them for the foreseeable future.”- Nell

Nell used her volunteering hours towards achieving The Bristol PLUS Award 

Amber Probyn, Anthropology with Innovation (MArts) and Hazel McShane, Physics with Innovation (MSci)  

Picture of Amber and Hazel
Amber and Hazel

We couldn’t write this blog without mentioning the founders of PEEQUAL, our 2021 Growth Stage winners of the New Enterprise Competition.

Their vision to abolish gender inequality has started with peequality! PEEQUAL, the UK’s first touch-free women’s urinal, is designed for women and co-created with women. Their gender equalising creation ensures a safe space at outdoor events for you to nip to the loo, valuing our time just as much as men’s by cutting toilet queues. 

Expect to see them at a festival near you this summer! 


Click the “Student stories” tag in our blog to hear more experiences of Careers Service programmes and events from fellow students.

Feeling inspired? You can find information on internships, part-time work and work experience (including volunteering) as well as how we can support your start-up ideas on the Careers Service website.