New award honours women in science

A new award has been launched to recognise the achievements of women in science and their power to inspire others.

Professor Barbara Evans (School of Civil Engineering), Dr Ann Mdee (Associate Professor in the School of Politics and International Studies), Dr Lata Narayanaswamy (Lecturer in International Development in the School of Politics and International Studies) and Alesia Ofori (a water@leeds PhD candidate) celebrating the launch of the Water Woman Award during the 10th anniversary event for water@leeds held on campus earlier this year

Image shows Professor Barbara Evans, Dr Ann Mdee, Dr Lata Narayanaswamy and Alesia Ofori celebrating the launch of the Water Woman Award during the 10th anniversary event for water@leeds

The Water Woman Award has been developed by water@leeds in partnership with the Faculty of Environment Athena SWAN team.

By rewarding achievements by women whose work contributes to the scientific objectives of water@leeds in securing competitive research funds, producing world-class research or achieving significant societal impact, the Award aims to highlight their efforts in an academic world in which the hurdles are still greater for females.

The Award is based on two equally-weighted criteria – the nature of the achievement and its potential for empowering and inspiring other women into following their example.

It is open to all employees at Leeds identifying as women and from all backgrounds.

Dr Clare Woulds, Athena SWAN team leader for the Faculty of Environment, said: “It is important to raise the profile of successful women in our institution to provide role models, and to facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring.

“We hope in this way to enable all of our colleagues to achieve their goals.”

Gender equality 

Leeds celebrated a clutch of new Athena SWAN Charter awards across the University last month, recognising advancement of gender equality. This included Silver Awards for the Faculty of Environment and Faculty of Engineering (submitted under the previous structure before the new Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences was launched).

The Athena SWAN Charter is designed to recognise advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. At Leeds, faculties work towards achieving Athena SWAN recognition as part of the Leeds Gender Framework initiative, which is supported by the University's Equality Policy Unit and academic leadership from Professor Steve Scott.

The Water Woman Award is for achievements that have taken place – or reached a significant milestone – within applicants’ past five full-time equivalent years, discounting career breaks.

Contributions can be for any discipline or support sector of the University contributing to addressing water-related challenges.

The Award will be split into four categories:

  • Research Funding – in recognition of securing significant competitive research funding (the level of significance will be considered in relation to the discipline and area of work and does not include a specific threshold for the value)
  • Research Excellence – in recognition of outstanding research (e.g. academic publication or equivalent)
  • Societal Impact and Knowledge Transfer – in recognition of translating research and innovation; and
  • Academic support – in recognition of critical support provided to the achievement of any of the above (e.g. through administrative, organisational or technical support).

Winners will receive £1,000 each, transferred to their staff development account.

Applications or nominations can be made by submitting a form available on the water@leeds website by 2pm on Wednesday 15 January 2020.

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