Janey Godley, Anna Whitehouse and Jeffery Tobias Halter '#ChooseToChallenge' at IWD 2021

Janey Godley, Anna Whitehouse and Jeffery Tobias Halter '#ChooseToChallenge' at IWD 2021

The University of Aberdeen will mark International Women's Day (IWD) this year with a week-long programme packed full of online free events running from 8 - 13 March 2021.

Launched today, February 8, the programme features a popular Scottish comedian, a successful journalist and blogger, and for the first time at IWD, the University will also welcome a male keynote speaker.  

Highlights of the programme include Scottish comedian Janey Godley, journalist, campaigner and Mother Pukka founder Anna Whitehouse and corporate gender strategist, Jeffery Tobias Halter.  

The 8th IWD conference will be the first to be held entirely online and will profile an incredible line-up of inspirational speakers in discussion around this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge.  

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. Originally, its aim was to provide a forum for women to campaign for equality and women’s rights. Over time, it has evolved and now in March each year, thousands of events are held throughout the world to recognise the progress that has been made, to inspire women and to celebrate their achievements. 

The official campaign theme #ChoosetoChallenge which will focus on empowering everyone to choose to challenge and call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotypes. 

On Monday 8 March, Anna Whitehouse, journalist, radio presenter campaigner, author and founder of the website Mother Pukka, will open the conference with insights on navigating a successful career and how to use public influence to challenge gender discrimination. Tuesday will see a Scientific Panel Discussion in which researchers will reflect on the longstanding problems of gender inequality and how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their research, lives, leadership roles and how they are perceived. Wednesday sees a Speed Mentoring Session with local students who can benefit from informal discussion with mentors including Aberdeen Harbour Board’s  first female CEO, Michelle Handforth and social entrepreneur and former bank manager at Barclays plc, Jamala Osman. 

 Corporate gender strategist and TEDx speaker, Jeffery Tobias Halter will take the floor on Thursday 11 March. An expert on engaging men to advance women, Jeffery is the President of YWomen, a strategic consulting company, Jeffery has consulted with leading brands including Deloitte, Citigroup, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Moet Hennessy to name a few.  

On Friday, the ever-popular Bright Club event will go online with University researchers trying their hands at stand up before comedian Janey Godley takes to the ‘stage’.  As well as stand-up comedy, Janey is also a successful actor, journalist, playwright, blogger and author and this is sure to be a very popular event. 

The programme will close on Saturday 13 March when local storyteller Pauline Cordiner will tell tales of stories about heroic females throughout history who have achieved great things. 

University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Tracey Slaven said: “We are delighted to host the International Women’s Day conference at the University and look forward to what is sure to be an inspiring and uplifting experience.  The event itself will look a little different this year, the online format extending the opportunities to engage across a whole week and from wherever we are.   Such a diverse range of speakers, I’ve no doubt, will continue to motivate all of us to ‘choose to challenge’ gender bias and discrimination.” 

All events are free to join but must be booked in advance full details of the programme and how to book are available here.   



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