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Alumna named in the Northern Power Women 2019 list

Tuesday 05 March 2019

Postgraduate management studies alumna, Dr Ann Limb CBE DL has been named in this year's Northern Power women list; a campaign which celebrates role models who are accelerating gender diversity and transforming the culture of organisations across the North of England.

Since graduating with a master’s diploma from Sheffield Polytechnic in 1984, Ann has pursued an exhilarating career, having held several non-executive director and chair roles within the private and public sectors. She is most famously known for being appointed as the first ever woman chair of the Scout Association in 2015.

Having been the first generation in her family to attend university, Ann has a passion for widening participation in education and offering support to disadvantaged students. Her dedication to social mobility led to the setup of an independent educational charity, the Helena Kennedy Foundation, which has helped over 1,500 students overcome barriers through accessing a university level education. She currently focuses much of her campaigning on philanthropy and devotes her energies to redressing imbalances in terms of wealth and opportunity.

As a proud northerner, Ann speaks fondly about her time at Sheffield Polytechnic and her warmth towards the city where she studied. She also told us more about how it feels to be named within such an inspiring line up of Northern Power Women.

1. What was your experience of studying at Sheffield Hallam? And what has your journey been like since?

I was a postgraduate student at Sheffield Hallam in the mid 1980's and I was awarded a Diploma in Management Studies (DMS). The course I did was tailored perfectly to my employment at the time as a FE College lecturer looking to become a manager but having no management experience or qualification. I didn’t live in Sheffield, but very much enjoyed being in the city which I fell in love with and remain so to this day.

In 1984, armed with my DMS, I was promoted to the post of Head of Department of Business & Management Studies at what was then NE Derbyshire College. I shortly gained further promotion to the post of Vice Principal at Milton Keynes College, and then aged 34, I was appointed as Principal of Milton Keynes College - the youngest ever Principal of a Further Education College. I had gone from part-time FE teacher to Principal in just over a decade, assisted hugely by what I’d learned and the confidence I’d gained from my Sheffield Hallam DMS.

2. How did it feel to become the first woman Chair of The Scouts?

The Scout Association is the largest mixed youth charity in the UK with over half a million young people engaged across the country in modern day scouting activities and community social action through volunteering. The movement was founded over a hundred years ago in the UK and now has 44 million members worldwide.

Bear Grylls is Chief Scout, and I am the first ever woman to be elected Chair of the Scouts. It’s an amazing story, a fantastic 21st century charity and I am the luckiest person in the world to hold such a role.

3. What was your reaction to finding out you’d been named in the 2019 Northern Power Women list? And what are your thoughts on their campaign?

It’s a huge honour and I felt privileged to be named amongst so many other brilliant and inspirational women.

The Northern Power Women award ceremony will take place on 18th March 2019 at Manchester Convention Complex, and we would like to send our best wishes to all the shortlisted nominees!

If you would like to find out more about the Northern Power Women, please click here.

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