4 min reading

Inspirational women from Buckinghamshire

As International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8th March) celebrates the achievements of influential women from all corners of the world, we’re spotlighting five past and present icons closer to home whose exceptional careers have paved the way for the future generations.

Enid Blyton

Did you know prolific children’s books writer, Enid Blyton was a Beaconsfield resident for over 30 years? After seeing her first poem published in a magazine when she was just 14 years old, Enid soon became a household name with 600 books published in her lifetime, including the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Little Noddy series – yes, the very same Noddy you probably watched on TV growing up.

Want to follow in Enid’s footsteps? Check out our Authors, Writers and Translators Career Profiles.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock

If the opening lyrics to ‘Power’ by Little Mix turns on an internal switch, you’re probably a fan of singer-songwriter Leigh-Ann Pinnock. One third of the second best-selling girl group in the UK, Leigh-Anne from High Wycombe rose to fame after winning The X Factor with her fellow bandmates in 2011 and now uses her platform to campaign for racial equality.

Discover more roles like Leigh-Anne’s at our Actors, Entertainers and Presenters Careers Profiles.

Photo: @leighannepinnock on Instagram
Photo: @leighannepinnock on Instagram

Naomi Riches MBE

Have you ever noticed a gold postbox in Marlow? The unusual monument was erected on the high street following the London 2012 Paralympic Games, when Marlow Rowing Club’s very own Naomi Riches won the mixed coxed four race. The former Bucks New Uni student has since been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and in 2016, became the first woman to row the length of the River Thames.

If you’re inspired by Naomi’s story, head over to our Sports Players Career Profile.

Photo: @naomiriches_mbe on Instagram
Photo: @naomiriches_mbe on Instagram

Barbara Gubbins

Born in High Wycombe in 1931, Barbara Gubbins AKA the ‘Pigtailed Pilot’ was the youngest person to ever fly in the Women's Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Our Pigtailed Pilot picked fruit and gave horse riding lessons for seven years to save up enough money for flying lessons, which she nailed in just over five hours, so it’s no surprise she was on track to become the RAF’s first woman pilot before her premature death at just 20 years old.

Always dreamt of flying like Barbara? Make it a reality by reading our Aircraft, Pilots and Flight Engineers Career Profiles.

Dr Frances Alexander

Dr Frances Alexander’s list of achievements is longer than The Ridgeway Path. The former Mayor of High Wycombe launched the Wycombe Environment Centre, founded the women’s international friendship and travel network, Women Welcome Women, was a school governor for 11 years, and still found time to campaign for environmental and sustainability issues in between all these exploits.

Find out how you can carry on Frances’ work, courtesy of our Environment Professionals Career Profile.

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