My week - 2 March 2015 - Dean of MaPS, Professor Steve Scott

Professor Scott celebrates International Women’s Day and our Women of Achievement.


Every year in March thousands of events occur worldwide to mark International Women's Day (IWD) and celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. It’s an important opportunity not only to recognise women's achievements but to remind ourselves of how much we still have to do both within the University and in wider society to create fairer opportunities.

The theme of this year’s IWD is ‘Make it happen’ and, as institutional and academic lead for Athena SWAN, I believe the University has made a start on our journey to recognise and deal with issues of under-representation and leadership, and to tackle the barriers that can prevent women pursuing an academic career. Our activities, exemplified within the Equality and Inclusion Framework, will benefit not only women but minority groups faced with similar challenges and experiences.

The University’s Athena SWAN Steering Group, which involves staff and students from academic schools and services, seeks to deliver the University’s commitment to advancing women’s careers. Athena SWAN itself is a national initiative, currently focusing on science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) subject areas, although it is anticipated that it will soon extend to cover the Business, Arts and Social Sciences (BASS) and professional services areas.  

This year, the University’s Athena SWAN Steering Group is helping to shape two key events being held to enable our staff and student community to network, share and receive practical information, and to recognise the significant personal and professional contributions made by women at Leeds.

The first Women in Science Engineering and Technology (WiSET) staff network half-day conference is being on 3 March and will be opened by the Vice-Chancellor. The keynote speaker Professor Helen Whelton, Dean and Head of the School of Dentistry, will provide an insight into her career and experiences, and there will be opportunities for networking and breakout sessions around both policy and practical issues.

Following the conference, the Women of Achievement event and opening of the supporting photographic exhibition will take place. This event will recognise 13 female colleagues and students in the University who have achieved an award or prize in their field for outstanding research, teaching, scholarship or technical work over the last three years. The names of a further 22 women from across the University who were nominated will be recorded in a Roll of Honour. More details will be posted on this website following the event.

To find out about the WiSET conference and other activities to promote and support the career development of women at Leeds, visit the Equality Service website.

Steve Scott

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