Womentoring 2024

Cardiff University alumnae supporting Cardiff University alumnae

Join us this March to celebrate Women’s History Month with our unique flash-mentoring event: Womentoring 2024

We have carefully selected 24 successful alumnae ready to be mentors – aiming to inspire and empower you; the next generation of Cardiff University alumnae.

Mentees will be selected after a short application process that will ask about your ambition, career focus and how you feel mentoring would be of benefit. This year you can show a preference of up to three mentors that you would ideally like to be matched with.

Flash-mentoring is designed to be low on time and high on impact. Meaning you’ll only need to commit a minimum of 2 hours in March.


If you’re looking to develop professionally and advance in your career, apply by Monday 12 February for a chance to take part as a mentee.

This is your chance to connect with successful and accomplished women and benefit from their valuable experience and expertise. 

You can use this opportunity to develop your career, build networks, ask questions and to gain insight into a specific industry.

This Cardiff University alumni women’s mentoring scheme is a trans-inclusive opportunity.

Whilst every effort will be made to match applicants to a mentor, we are unable to guarantee a place in the programme.

Meet our mentors

Debbie Clarke (MBA 1996)

Debbie is the Director of New Clarke Ventures and has a portfolio of Non Executive Director positions. She has worked in corporate finance, specialising in mergers and acquisitions for HSBC, PwC and Moore Stephens and is currently a board advisor and Non-Executive Director for a number of organisations. 

She has been a Director of her own consultancy business since 2017, where she now utilises nearly 30 years’ experience advising businesses, entrepreneurs and their boards. She is also currently the Chairman of Triathlon England, a Non-Executive Director of British Triathlon, a Non-Executive Director of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments Future Foundation and Vice Chair of Child’s i Foundation.

Jacqueline Cheung (MSc 2004)

Jacqueline obtained her master’s degree in Occupational Psychology from Cardiff University and a master’s degree in Applied Psychology from the City University of Hong Kong. She is currently the Senior Workforce Strategy Advisor at Northern Territory Government, Australia. 

Prior to that, she worked as Senior Director and Head of Organisation and Talent Development in various industries including financial services, professional service, retail, property, and education. She is a certified coach from International Coaching Federation specialising in career goal setting, career transition, CV writing and interviewing skills, and women in leadership.

Linda Dann CBE (BA 1981)

Linda is Microsoft UK’s defence and national security legal adviser, advising the business on strategic legal and ethical issues relating to advanced cloud and mission capabilities to support government and Defence Industry customers. Before joining Microsoft in 2020, Linda held various posts in the Civil Service, including 15 years as a Senior Civil Servant in the UK Ministry of Defence. She led the legal team advising on all aspects of the use of force in the UK’s overseas military operations. Subsequently, she took up a policy role responsible for our defence relationships with our European partners, and delivering Brexit for Defence.

In 2020 she was awarded Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen for her contribution to international affairs. Linda started her career by studying English Literature at Cardiff University, before qualifying as a solicitor and working for a large London commercial law firm as a commercial litigator before moving to the public sector.

Jakie Dias (MEd 2000)

Jakie is Chair and Associate Professor at Department of Nursing, University of Sharjah. She launched the first Masters in Adult Critical Care program in the United Arab Emirates. Jakie is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK and an Anne Marie Schimmel Scholar. A leader in healthcare education, Jakie was the Founding Director for the Centre for Innovation in Medical Education - the first simulation centre in Pakistan at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan.

Rose Keffas (MSc 2011)

Rose Keffas is a development specialist, results-oriented and strategic leader with 15 years of experience in economic, social and community development. After her MSc in Human Resource Management from Cardiff University she began her career in HR – advising, developing, and assisting in implementing procedures and she is presently serving as the Special Assistant Policy, Strategy and International Relations to the Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria on sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

Rose is an award-winning SDG Advocate in Nigeria. Rose is a global speaker on the ‘Global Goals’, she’s been invited both globally and locally to share on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Rose has been named; most influential people of African Descent Government under 40 (2020), 100 Career Women (2022) and 50 African women in development (2023).

Miguela Gonzalez (MBA 2002)

Miguela is a culture and inclusion strategist, with a background in communication, cultural transformation, business management and broadcast media, and is now the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at global biotech firm Abcam in Cambridge.

Miguela is now balancing her career alongside a new PhD at Cardiff Business School working on the Welsh Government’s Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan. She is a trustee on the boards of National Theatre Wales and Shelter Cymru, and a Commissioner with the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales.

She previously worked at the BBC for 15 years, where she implemented the global consultation that led to the broadcaster’s current 3-year Diversity and Inclusion strategy. Prior to that, she was a journalist.

Sitpah Selvaratnam (LLB 1988)

Sitpah is currently a consultant at Tommy Thomas, Advocates and Solicitors. Sitpah is also an international arbitrator and with effect from 1 January 2024 shall be a full time independent arbitrator.

24 years ago Sitpah founded Tommy Thomas after working as a partner at one of the largest law firms in Malaysia. Her legal career has focused on corporate insolvency and commercial litigation and disputes. 

A leading maritime litigator, she has represented multiple corporations in the High Court and appellate Courts of Malaysia and is the founding president of the International Malaysian Society of Maritime Law. A published author in maritime law, she has represented the Malaysian Government on issues of maritime law and has been influential in the reform of this area within Malaysia.

Hannah Jefferys (MArch 2009)

Hannah is the Founding Director of Sài Gòn Cider. Upon graduating, she worked as both a Designer and an Architect, but alongside this decided to follow her passion for cider, establishing Sài Gòn Cider in Vietnam in 2013. The brand started as a hobby 10 years ago as a kitchen based hobby, and is now made on a large scale and exported to the UK, Hong Kong and other countries. Hannah now works full-time as their Founding Director and Cider Maker, and is a mother of two. As the leading Vietnamese cider brand, Sài Gòn Cider offers award-winning, craft, organic cider made in Vietnam. 

Amanda Cairo (MA 2001)

Amanda is the Communications Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Berkeley. She has spent her career working in Communications. After her MA in Journalism Studies, she worked as a Journalist and news editor in both print and radio and has spent time teaching English in Higher Education. After a decade she made the switch to university-based communications – first at the University of Idaho and now at UC Berkeley, where she is now Communications Director at the Institute of Transportation Studies.

Misha Mittal (MSc 2013)

Misha is a Senior Manager at Expo Dubai Group, the global initiative of Expo City Dubai. With over 14 years of experience in a variety of roles in the UAE, the UK and India. In her role, she leads the City Advisory work to support city leaders and stakeholders around the world advising them on sustainable development. She previously worked with the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi and was also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for Abu Dhabi’s city-wide infrastructure projects for 2030 and other state-wide strategic initiatives. 

She currently is the Dubai Chapter Lead for the Global Walkability Correspondents Network and a member of the working committee for an International Financial Institution on Heat & Transport. She is a certified Circular Economy Professional, a member of ISOCARP and a council member of the UAE-India Business Council. Misha has been invited as a speaker and a jury on many local and international conferences in the past and has been on the career mentoring programme with Cardiff University since 2021.

Emma Young (BSc 1996)

Emma is the director and founder of Emma Young Consulting Ltd. An independent sustainability advisor, Emma is passionate about the power of story to change the world. Emma has more than 20 years’ experience in the profession, nine of which at BT Group where she created and oversaw the delivery of the multinational’s sustainability communication strategy. 

Independent since 2013, Emma works with a wide range of clients providing strategic advice, designing and delivering engagement campaigns, and delivering sustainability reports. In her spare time, Emma writes fiction and has published two novels under the pen name E.L.Williams. Emma is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS) and the RSA. She is also an Accredited Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Shaikha Al-Othman (BSc 2008)

Shaikha is the Co-founder and CEO of Haus of Care. After her neuroscience degree Shaikha began a career in public health, and today is a health-systems social entrepreneur & researcher. After working on the $16M government-funded national plan for obesity & NCD mitigation in Kuwait, she founded a creative nonprofit for health promotion and then went on to fund a number of small businesses, social & for-profits. She focuses on researching and creating AI-powered smarter systems for senior and home care environments with a focus on family and homecare. She has been recognised by Weill Cornell and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with whom she still works closely.

Julie Fay (BSc 1983)

After her BSc and PhD (From Imperial College London), Julie’s career took her not into academia but industry – first as a Marine Scientist in the electricity industry and then with The Environment Agency. Over the course of her career, Julie worked as a water quality scientist, environmental planner, flood incident manager, Marine Biologist and as Climate Change scientist. She used her Life Sciences background within these as an influencer and advocate for change within what was an emerging and evolving market for sustainable technology and environmental impact assessment.

Sarah Bevan (BScEcon 1989)

Sarah is the head of artwork and packaging service at GSK and has more than 25 years of experience in production management, packaging, logistics and supply chain management. She has worked at a national and global level, implementing new global processes, and working with various providers in a commercial environment including off-shore partners. She has a strong expertise in business transformation supported by technology and optimized operating models including outsourced services. Her passion is building and leading teams using her coaching and mentoring skills to support her teams achieve excellent operational performance, generating and executing strategic plans to benefit patients.

Philippa Ushio (PgDip 2006)

As Managing Director at Prosek Partners, Philippa leads teams in developing communications strategies and mounting multi-disciplinary campaigns to protect and enhance business value.

Throughout her career, Philippa has provided strategic counsel to clients facing a wide variety of complex issues, focusing particularly on their communications challenges. She has led a myriad of innovative programs around the world that have advanced the business objectives of clients in many different industries, including financial services and fintech.

Rashi Sanon Narang (BSc 2003)

Entrepreneur Rashi started ‘Heads Up For Tails’, in 2008. Since its inception HUFT has become India’s leading petcare brand with 85 stores, 50+ pet spas, a strong online presence via www.headsupfortails.com and is now at the forefront of a market that previously had not been established in India.

Along with building the company she has also set up the Heads Up For Tails Foundation, the charitable arm of the company works to support community (street) animals which to date has provided 1.5 million meals and 17000 reflective collars to street dogs across India.

Simone Lowthe-Thomas (PhD 2003)

Simone is the Director for Nature Recovery and Climate Change at Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority. After her doctorate Simone spent 10 years as a Researcher at Cardiff University before joining the third sector where she has spent her career working in building partnerships and delivering sustainable solutions; applying her academic background to the lived experiences of people and nature. 

After spending several years at Severn Wye where she was Chief Executive she joined Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority in 2022. Passionate not just about people and environment she is the Chair of the for The National Lottery Community Fund and was a founding member of Community Energy Wales.

Hannah Lang (BA 2003)

Hannah is Head of Corporate Communications at PPF and has over 15 years’ experience in PR and communications, both in-house and in agencies. She has all-round experience in a range of communications disciplines including consumer, corporate and B2B public relations, crisis management, social media and digital communications, internal communications, brand and design management, corporate reporting and sustainability communications. Hannah can help you understand how to make an impact in your role in whichever area of comms/PR you pursue. Hannah studied Journalism, Film and Broadcasting at Cardiff University.

Gemma Nicholas (BSc 2013)

Gemma is the Business Operations Director at The Coca Cola Company. Gemma first started her career on the Marks and Spencer graduate scheme as a Commercial Manager post completing a placement during her time at Cardiff University. She then moved to Müller and then Coca-Cola where she has moved from being an Account Manager to the Business Operations Director within 6 years. Gemma works with household names and her industry experience includes sales management, merchandising, and marketing with some key leadership skills particularly around influencing and stakeholder management.

Eleanor Wheeler (BSc 2009, MSc 2010)

Eleanor is Director of Oncology at The Health Policy Partnership. She started her career in research, before moving into the charitable sector, gaining experience across strategy development, political influencing, and patient involvement at the MS society and Cancer Research UK. Currently Eleanor has a particular focus on oncology with expertise in developing global networks. Her consultancy work brings research and experts together to form consensus on the issues facing our health systems, from which a compelling case for policy change can be made.  

Joanna Dougherty (BScEcon 2017)

Joanna is the Global Operations Director of Client Experience at JLL, a global real estate company. Joanna has spent her career since leaving Cardiff University within client experience and client relationship management programs for professional services companies. Working across their largest accounts to deliver the best experience for clients and leveraging client insights to help inform strategic decision making and support business growth.

Nadine Lock (BA 2001)

Nadine has worked in the Third Sector for the last ten years as Tenovus Cancer Care’s HR, Recruitment & Volunteer Manager and studied English Literature. She has spent her career working in HR and Recruitment. She has worked in the private sector with Hays Recruitment, Adecco and the Co-operative Bank developing and supporting recruitment marketing and strategy solutions, candidate and client development and business planning. Nadine also helped to set up a Community Interest group to support and empower disadvantaged families, children and young people in Cardiff. 

Louise Quy (BA 1999)

Louise is currently the Managing Director of Chemonics UK where she draws from more than 20 years of progressive commercial and international development experience to provide strategic vision, leadership, commercial acumen, and management to Chemonics’ UK headquarters and its portfolio of international programs.


Prior to joining Chemonics Louise worked at Crown Agents, firstly as part of a turnaround team and latterly as chief commercial officer and supply chain lead. In this role, Louise led Crown’s response on both their COVID-19 supply chain offer and their Ukraine response.

Formerly a senior manager at the multinational professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Louise managed a large portfolio encompassing organizational change, commercial strategy and governance structures, mergers, acquisitions, corporate finance, and internal controls. Passionate about combating climate change and violence against women, Louise also serves as a trustee of WeForest and chair of Luminary Bakery.

Hayley Still (BA 2006)

Hayley is the Global CEO of Hydrogen Group overseeing the business across EMEA, USA and APAC.After joining Hydrogen Group as a graduate recruiter in 2008 Hayley rose through the business to become a well-respected leader before taking the CEO reins in early 2022, whilst on maternity leave.

Hayley has a strong foundation of values, work ethic and focus on business priorities. In 2018 she introduced a flexible working model into the business called I Own My Time, enabling employees to choose where and when they work, which is a core part of the business today. In her first six months as CEO, Hayley has taken the business on another transformational journey to become a Purpose led business – helping employees understand what it takes to thrive in ever changing environments and enabling them to reach their full potential personally and professionally, wherever they are on their career journey.

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