Women of today to inspire women of tomorrow

Women of today to inspire women of tomorrow

Outstanding public figures who are leaders in their field are this week inspiring women of today and tomorrow at the University of Aberdeen.

The institution is hosting two special events to mark International Women’s Day which organisers hope will encourage women already established in their careers and also enthuse girls considering a career in science.

A one-day conference - Inspiring Women: It’s a (Wo)man’s World - takes place on Friday (March 7) and will bring key people to the King’s Conference Centre.

Through a programme of high-profile speakers and invited guests, the event aims to take an in-depth and thought-provoking look at issues which are central to career development for women at a local, national and international level.

Speakers include international percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie; Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission; Professor Lisa Jardine, leading academic, broadcaster and former chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; Marie O’Hanlon and Susan Shaw from BP; Professor Russel Botman, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, and the Honourable Lady Morag Wise, a judge of the Supreme Courts.

The event - which is expected to attract a capacity audience of 250 people - will also mark the launch of the University’s Inspiring Women : Women’s Exhibition.  The exhibition showcases the achievements of female graduates and staff and their contribution to society and features five posters, each of a woman with links to the University, who has achieved success and inspired others.

The posters range from early pioneers Dr Mary Esslemont and Dr Myra MacKenzie to more recent members of staff, Professor Anne Glover and Professor Neva Haites, and graduate Karen Darke.

Today (March 6) almost 80 S2 girls who are interested in science are attending a one-day Women in Science: The Next Generation event at Elphinstone Hall which has been supported by the European Commission Office in Scotland.

The young visitors are hearing from successful scientists at the University including Professor Jan Skakle, Head of the School of Natural and Computing Sciences; Professor Ekaternia Pavlovskaia, School of Engineering, and Anne Pawsey, an early career researcher, also holder of an Institute of Physics Very Early Career Women Physicist Award.

Pupils - attending from 7 North-east schools - will also learn from motivational speaker Ruth Amos who was named Young Engineer for Britain for her StairSteady product which she invented and designed at school for a GCSE project. Ruth is now a successful young entrepreneur and motivational speaker.

Professor Neva Haites, Vice-Principal of the University, who is chairing both events, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many people who have performed so remarkably well onto our campus. Both our events celebrating International Women’s Day aim to entertain as well as inform women already working in science, engineering and technology as well as the young women of tomorrow who are considering making it their career. And if it encourages even just one of our visiting school girls to enter one of these fields then all our efforts to mark this important day will have been worthwhile.”

Schools taking part are Bridge of Don Academy, Torry Academy, the International School, Bucksburn Academy, Robert Gordon’s College, St Margaret’s School for Girls and Hazlehead Academy.