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My Journey from Calculus to the Crown – Esme Sefton

By 22nd April 2024 No Comments

At 19 years old, navigating the intricate balance of academia and my passion for pageantry I stand on the precipice of a transformative journey towards the prestigious title of Miss England. As a student immersed in the world of mathematics and economics at the University of Liverpool, my story is one driven by resilience, advocacy, and a commitment to gender equality in STEM.

Beginning in the beautiful county of Cheshire, my path to the Miss England stage is intertwined with my dedication to education, particularly advocating for female representation in STEM fields. Having had the privilege of attending esteemed institutions such as Manchester High School for Girls, which is infamous for its suffragette pupils like the Pankhurst daughters, I am fully aware of the importance of education and the opportunities it provides. My journey has been far from linear, excuse the maths pun! plagued by challenges and moments of doubt. When I began my mathematics studies in 2022, I encountered a disheartening reality: feeling out of place as a woman in a male-dominated field. After leaving an all-girls school, being catapulted into a predominantly male studying environment and suddenly becoming a minority was a terrifying shock. This ultimately led me to withdraw from University. Despite the setbacks, I refused to succumb to societal expectations. After an informative and fun 6 months working in Timpson’s finance department, I made the bold decision to begin a degree in Maths and Economics at the University of Liverpool, determined to shatter stereotypes and pave the way for future generations of women in STEM. I didn’t realise I had been cocooned from the world, that I had chosen subjects that by many are considered not for the likes of me. I was completely used to feeling at ease in my own skin. For the first time ever I felt othered. This feeling ranged from the way I was looked at, the way I was spoken about (many people assume if you’re blonde and wear pink you can’t be intellectual). I didn’t fit in socially, I wasn’t on the rugby teams. I felt incredibly isolated and therefore lonely. It made me appreciate that for girls interested in STEM, they have to endure this all the way through school, I was only hit with this prejudice at degree level. Arguably as a young adult I was equipped with choices; I could move courses or move university. The only choice younger girls have it to not choose STEM. Even though I feel more represented at Liverpool and more comfortable it’s made me reflect on the lack of female role models and the culture of silence that makes it difficult to be open about the challenges and seek reassurance and help.

Combining my passion for mathematics with my role as Miss Cheshire, I founded & Crowned Calculus, a platform aimed at showcasing female role models in STEM while shedding light on the gender inequality within these fields. Through a collage of women, each accompanied by their area of expertise in STEM and shocking statistics on gender representation, I aim to inspire young girls and create a supportive environment for their interests in STEM. I aim to show young girls that there are lots of women succeeding in STEM and they should join their ranks and we can make an impact in changing these statistics. For example, only 37% of mathematical students are women.

With the Miss England platform as my stage, I see an opportunity to showcase my advocacy for female education and STEM representation and develop CrownedCalculus. I envision using my title to empower others to pursue their dreams with determination, irrespective of societal norm. I’m hoping though my journey it can enable me to harness the power of other influential women in this area who can support this cause. And therefore with the weight of Miss England behind it I want to unashamedly use this iconic global brand to attract leading women to guide me and other young girls towards their dreams. As a young woman balancing academia, advocacy, and pageantry, my journey to the Miss England stage is not just about personal ambition; it is about making a meaningful impact and leaving a lasting legacy. From my first ever pageant and being crowned Miss Cheshire to the grand stage of the Miss England competition, every step of my journey has been marked by a deep- seated commitment to education and gender equality in STEM.
My journey to Miss England goes beyond conventional concepts of beauty and glamour; it is about breaking barriers and challenging perceptions. As a loyal advocate for intellect and academic achievement, I firmly believe that Miss England should embody intelligence and serve as a beacon of inspiration for young girls aspiring to excel in male dominated fields.

Esme being crowned Miss Cheshire 2024


Esme will be competing in the next Miss England national final taking place at the Grand Station Wolverhampton  on the 16th & 17th May 2024 sponsored by Watermans Hair.

For tickets to support Esme at the event visit the Grand Station Website to find out more