Salford celebrates the achievement of a remarkable alumna on International Women's Day

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Michelle Eagleton, an alumna of the University of Salford and now Lecturer in Journalism and Public Relations, stands as a beacon of inspiration, guiding countless women on their journey to success in the fields of journalism, broadcasting, and PR.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, PR and Digital Communications student Debbie Mezeh-Ekisowei speaks to Michelle about her career, her passion for empowering women and the importance of perseverance and self-belief.

Michelle's journey began at the University, where she embarked on her quest for knowledge in journalism and broadcasting. Despite facing the hurdles of financial constraints and juggling multiple jobs, Michelle emerged triumphant with a first-class honors degree, setting the stage for her career.

“It was the first year my course had been at the University of Salford and I was the first on the programme. I left with a first class honours degree and I also got mentioned by the Dean when I collected my scroll at graduation.  

“I also held down three jobs to put myself through university. I came from working class family and we didn’t have a lot of money for education, so that made it even sweeter.”

She added: “I worked at a body shop and making sandwiches, I also worked for radio station called Key 103 doing traffic and travel bulletins at the crack of dawn before I went to lessons.”

She pays it forward by teaching part-time at her alma mater, imparting knowledge and wisdom gained from her extensive experience in both journalism and PR. Her dedication to nurturing the next generation of professionals underscores her belief in the power of mentorship and support. As she proudly watches her students embark on their own careers, Michelle remains a guiding force, instilling confidence and resilience in each one of them.

She commented: "It's a privilege to give back to the University of Salford and inspire young minds embarking on their own career journeys.

“I feel like a proud mother every time at graduation when I see what they’ve achieved and also see the careers and jobs that they go on to outside of University.”

Beyond academia, Michelle continues to make waves in the media industry, hosting her own radio show and serving as the arts and Culture correspondent for 'I Love Manchester.'

“I have my own show on Happy Radio that goes out across Manchester and Cheshire and I am also a correspondent for “I Love Manchester”, a website that tells you where to go, what to see and what to do in the city.”

Her multifaceted career exemplifies the importance of staying current and engaged in one's field, a value she instills in her students as they navigate the ever-evolving landscape of media and communications.

From her early days as an entertainment journalist for TV and radio to her tenure at the BBC at MediaCity, Michelle's route in the media industry has been nothing short of remarkable. However, her journey was not without its obstacles, especially as a woman navigating a male-dominated field.

In her quest to inspire inclusion her impact extend beyond the classroom, she is the founder of the 'Bad Mums Club,' a community dedicated to providing support and solidarity to mothers facing the challenges of balancing career and family.

Inspired by the everyday struggles of motherhood depicted in a film ‘Bad Mums’, Michelle created a safe space for women to share their experiences and find solace in knowing they are not alone. She saw a need for women to embrace the beauty of imperfection and find solidarity in their shared struggles.

She asserts: “It was really important to create a safe space for women to come together and admit that it’s hard being a mum, we're all doing a brilliant job, and sometimes we just need to acknowledge that.”

Through this initiative, she champions authenticity and self-compassion, challenging societal norms and expectations placed on mothers.

Reflecting on the theme of International Women's Day, Michelle emphasized the importance of amplifying women's voices and addressing issues such as work-life balance, gender bias, and menopause in the workplace. Through open dialogue and collective action, Michelle believes that women can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable society.

"We need to talk openly about the challenges women face in their careers, from balancing motherhood to overcoming gender bias. Together, we can drive meaningful change and create a more inclusive world."

Michelle's passion for mentoring and supporting women shines throughout the interview. Whether through her yoga classes or mentoring programs, she remains committed to uplifting others and fostering a culture of empowerment.

 "There's room for everybody in this industry, we shouldn't be afraid to share our knowledge and help others succeed,"she said.

Michelle reflects on the individuals who inspire her, citing Irene Estery—a seasoned yoga instructor and caregiver—as a source of unwavering positivity and resilience.

"It's not always about the high-profile figures," she notes. "Sometimes, it's the everyday heroes who inspire us to keep pushing forward."

Michelle encourages young women not to give up solidarity for inclusion. "Keep pushing, keep trying, and never give up, together, we can forge a better world where every woman feels empowered to pursue her dreams."

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.