From heading up an iconic fashion brand to becoming a household name author, there’s plenty of women from South Tyneside who’ve excelled in their field.
To mark International Women’s Day, on March 8, 2022, we’ve rounded up some of the notable female figures linked to the borough, in no particular order.
5. Sheila Graber, Animator and Illustrator
Sheila Graber is best known for her talents in animation - including the Paddington Bear TV series - but now her name appears as the illustrator of recent book - Luna Moon Pig.It is the first book which has been illustrated by Sheila, who has won a number of awards for her creative talents in animation. Sheila, who was a teacher at King George Comprehensive School, South Shields, when her creative talents were spotted, has created a number of animations - including characters Mr and Mrs Brown from the Paddington Bear children’s TV series. Her accolades include an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland for Outstanding services to Education and Art; Best Digital Image Designer Category” at the North East and Border regional ceremony of the Royal Television Society and a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work.
Photo: JPI Media
6. Jade Thirlwall, Singer and Businesswoman
As a member of world-famous band Little Mix, Jade has sold more than 50 million records, making them one of the most successful female bands of all time. Jade is a passionate supporter of her home town and opened Arbeia in Ocean Road to help boost the night time economy. She also flies the flag for local charity Cancer Connections and is a regular to the Boxing Day Dip.
Photo: JPI Media
7. Perrie Edwards, Singer
Part of Little Mix, alongside fellow South Tynesider Jade Thirlwall, Perrie has had huge success. As well as millions of record sales, the band has racked up countless awards including Best British Single for "Shout Out to My Ex" at the 2017 Brit Awards and they won Best British Video for "Woman Like Me" at the 2019 Brit Awards. They have also received several other awards during their career, including three MTV Europe Music Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and two Glamour Awards. Little Mix appeared on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.
8. Sarah Millican, Comedian
Sarah Millican won the comedy award for Best Newcomer at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has since gone on to great success. In February 2013 she was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Her first book, How to Be Champion, was released in 2017, and Millican has performed on various tours mainly throughout the United Kingdom over the years. Many of her shows sell out soon after going on sale.
Photo: Library photo