This October we will be celebrating 40 years since the first women were admitted to Fitzwilliam. Here you can find a selection of stories at what some of our alumna are doing today.

40 years of women at Fitz


Professor Nicola Padfield interview

In celebration of 40 years since the first female students matriculated at Fitzwilliam, we have interviewed a wide range of Fitz alumnae and prominent women in the College. Where better to start than with Professor Nicola Padfield QC, Nicky Fitzwilliam’s first female Master?

Fitzwilliam's first female student

Women first matriculated at Fitzwilliam in 1979, but Lisa O’Neill arrived at the College 12 months earlier. She discovered she was the only woman on site and was accommodated in the infirmary wing. Here she shares her story.

From Fitzwilliam and fencing to a life of adventure

Fiona McIntosh (Land Economy 1980) competed in four Olympics as a fencer for Great Britain. She was in the second intake of women at Fitzwilliam.

An interview with Fitz Olympian Sarah Winckless

Sarah Winckless MBE (NatSci Physical 1993) won a bronze medal in the double sculls at the Athens 2004 Olympics, with Elise Laverick, and won world titles in the women’s quad in 2005 and 2006. 

From student to Master, Sonita hopes to inspire

Sonita Alleyne (Philosophy 1985) went to school with Sharon White (Economics 1985). Sonita, the new Master of Jesus College, reflects on her time at Fitzwilliam.

Sharon White considers how Fitzwilliam experience shaped her

Sharon White (Economics 1985) looks back on her time at Fitzwilliam. Sharon will swap her position as chief executive of communications regulator Ofcom to be executive chairman of the John Lewis Partnership in early 2020.

Ghadir Siyam sharing a passion for engineering

Ghadir Siyam (Engineering 2010) has a PhD in Engineering Design and is mentoring the next generation in her role at BP and with the Arab Innovation Network charity.

Rugby fan Sham on Fitz and an engineering career

Shamma Mustapha (Engineering 1991) shares her experience of Fitzwilliam and her career to date, and her desire to get more women into STEM careers.

'I just tried' - Krishnaa defies doubters to attend Fitzwilliam

Krishnaa Pandya (2013) completed a Medical Studies (Preclinical) degree at Fitzwilliam, after self-belief encouraged her to apply to Cambridge.

'Stop and smell the flowers', says Nuha

Nuha Al-Sha’ar (Asian & Middle Eastern Studies and Education 2003) completed postgraduate qualifications at Fitzwilliam and is now an associate professor at the American University of Sharjah. She shares her experience of Fitz.

Beth Rigby tells how a Fitz education prepared her to explain Brexit to the nation

Beth Rigby (Social & Political Sciences 1994) is Sky News Political Editor. Previously a newspaper journalist for the Financial Times and The Times, Beth has become a key figure in explaining Brexit to the nation. She shares her story.

Music, fashion and people - Kerry Potter loves telling stories

Kerry Potter (English 1993) is a freelance features journalist. She tells how she swapped Fitzwilliam for music, fashion and the mainstream media.