Robert Gordon's College celebrates International Women's Day

International Women’s Day 2021 asks us all to #ChooseToChallenge. Robert Gordon’s College is delighted to share the experiences of four female Gordonians who are no strangers to this crusade.  

Celebrating Women’s Achievements 

Erin Hopps, Class of ‘11

Erin’s 18 year old self could never have predicted the path her life and career would have taken 10 years after leaving school.  Half way through a degree in Art History, Erin decided she was on the wrong track. Following a brave move to pursue a career combining art and fashion, Erin left university and is now Project Manager for Brand Experience at Levi Strauss & Co based in Belgium.

Erin’s career path has been a steep learning curve involving extensive travel and long hours. This hasn’t stopped Erin from loving every minute of it. She has had to learn to put herself out there to achieve her goals.  Now when presented with a challenge Erin also sees an opportunity.

Erin explained: “I hope to carry this ethos with me through the rest of my working life, remaining unafraid to veer from intended plans in order to seize the unexpected opportunities. I look forward to seeing where it might take me in the future.”

Ann-Marie Parry, Class of ‘07

Ann-Marie once worked on local paper the Press and Journal.  Building the basics, she secured this role through work experience. Today, Ann-Marie has relocated to London and is a producer at Sky News.

Ann-Marie’s life is fast-paced and exciting.  She works to tight deadlines producing the evening news.  With around 800 guests a month appearing on Sky News, Ann-Marie’s role is vast including sourcing guests; identifying filming locations; building the rundowns; writing scripts and working closely with news correspondents.  

Ann-Marie said: “Working in TV news is challenging; I’m often working to tight deadlines and there are a lot of different opinions to contend with.  I have opinions as well and remind myself that I deserve to be heard.  I try to always remember that my perspective and my experiences, be that as a woman, where I’ve lived or job roles I’ve had in the past, are relevant and I can rely on them to help me deliver the news in the best way possible.” 

Raising Awareness Against Gender Bias in STEM 

Miriam McDonald, Class of ‘17

Recent graduate Miriam McDonald has always had a love of science. A talented Robert Gordon’s College bursary recipient, Miriam knew she wanted to be a doctor from the age of three.  Miriam’s drive and determination paid off and she is currently in fourth year of medical school at the University of Aberdeen.

Like many, Miriam’s student experience has been impacted by COVID-19.  This hasn’t deterred Miriam who is President of the Geriatric Medicine Student Society and was recently awarded the Dr Jeannie Macleod Memorial Prize.  The prize was named after one of the first females to study medicine at the University of Aberdeen. Today, there can be more women found studying medicine than men.

Miriam shared: “Receiving the William Duguid Scholarship in 2011 gave me the amazing opportunity to spend my senior school years at RGC. I remember my time fondly, and the support I received helped me get to where I am today. I have always been grateful to Miss Duguid for the doors her scholarship opened for me.”

Taking Action for Equality

Ellie Chalmers, Class of ‘07

With an interest in theatre production, this is where Ellie envisaged her future.  Making a conscious decision to fight for equality, Ellie has found a way to combine her passion for entertainment and education.

Ellie strongly believes equality is something everyone should strive for.  Ellie works for BBC Media Action - the BBC’s international development charity - as Senior Project Manager for Afghanistan.  In a country where only 30% of women can read or write, Ellie manages projects which train female journalists.  She also supports the team to produce the popular TV debate show, Open Jirga, which provides a public platform for discussing current affairs in Afghanistan.

Ellie said, “Throughout my career I have worked with some inspirational people from across the world including Afghanistan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Nepal.  I’ve always been committed to work which can inspire and support people to make positive changes in their lives.”


Excellent role models for change, we’d like to thank Erin, Ann-Marie, Miriam and Ellie for sharing their incredible journeys with the Robert Gordon’s College community.