Defining the Modern Woman: Why Sarah Ede Should Inspire the Next Generation of Female Entrepreneurs

Written by – Michael Ede

What is a woman? Depending on your perspective, the question may seem either too straightforward or hopelessly complex. Of course, biology remains the same, but societal factors change. Nevertheless, the essence of a woman is recognisable across time, culture, and geography.

The word implies strength, not physical strength (though many women are tremendously athletic), but the strength to persevere, support, and sacrifice. It also implies warmth – the caring and nurturing that supports every human endeavour. Finally, “woman” assumes a unique combination of intelligence and intuition – technical skills with a touch of humanity.

Pursuit of a Career in the Sciences

Sarah Ede (née Ejiama) was born early November in the late 80s. She is Nigerian and holds British citizenship. As a hard-working and conscientious student, Sarah excelled in school. She enrolled at the University of Exeter, where she received a baccalaureate in biological sciences in 2011. Her intelligence and discipline pulled her further along into academia, where she attended the University of Bath, earning her master’s degree in regenerative medicine in 2012.

In her early career, Sarah capitalised on her scientific acumen to become a research assistant for world-renowned cancer researcher Richard Marais at the Cancer Research UK, Manchester Institute, University of Manchester. There, her characteristic drive and intelligence made her an invaluable member of the team, and she published few articles with her peers as a contribution to Cancer research. After that, however, her active and inquisitive mind became interested in areas outside medicine and laboratory research – particularly business.

Transition into the Business World

Deciding to leave cancer research, Sarah began her career as a business analyst, joining The Mont Consulting in July 2014. Her future husband, Michael, had worked there since May of the same year as a project manager and scrum master. This would not be the last time they worked for a company simultaneously. However, Sarah moved to a business change executive position at TalkTalk in 2015, increasing her business skillset and laying the foundation for her future growth. 2016 saw Sarah beginning a three-year consulting gig at NTT Data UK, marking her entrance into the IT space.

Love and Marriage

During and after their time working at The Mont Consulting, her relationship with Michael Ede developed into a deep mutual love and respect. As a result, the couple was married on 3 September 2016 at the Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa in Wirral. The fairy-tale wedding welcomed over 250 guests to the picturesque grounds in northwest England. The auspicious start to their union continues into the following year, culminating in the birth of their first child. Anne Elizabeth Ede was born (2017) to her loving parents.

Sarah’s Successful Return to Business

Sarah returned to the workforce in 2018 as a senior business analyst for Selfridges, subsequently moving on to Which? The transition to the retail and consumer advocacy spaces fed her desire to broaden her skillset, and Sarah made the most of both opportunities. Her hard work paid off, and she continued to develop, carving out a specialisation in business change and transformation. As an IIBA-certified Business Analyst, Sarah is highly competent in helping companies evolve to meet consumer needs while maintaining regulatory compliance.

Strength, Warmth, and Intelligence in the Age of COVID-19

2019 and 2020 would be momentous years for Sarah and her family. She transitioned to AstraZeneca in May 2019 as a lead Business Analyst, overseeing a team of 14 BAs working on an all-encompassing digital transformation program. Over the next two years, Sarah would welcome her and Michael’s son Jason Asher-Michael (2020), co-found (with her husband) and become CEO of Brighter Connect, and stay on board at AstraZeneca through the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the turmoil of the times, Sarah would give unwavering support to her family and still maintain the highest degree of professionalism. As a result, brighter Connect became an internationally acclaimed learning platform for corporate training, offering IT classes, soft skills, and management best practices curricula.

Yet, even as she addressed her familial and business responsibilities with skill and energy, 2020 was not finished with the Ede family. In September, Michael officially launched Uplift11 Sports, a sports management agency. This milestone combined his passion for football with his desire to help up-and-coming athletes manage their careers. Through the planning, certification, and implementation, Sarah stood by Michael and offered support, encouragement, and unconditional love.