University to mark International Women's Day with annual conference

The University of Aberdeen will host an event today (Friday, March 4) which will celebrate the achievements of women and inspire the next generation.

Students, early career researchers, members of the business community and the public will hear from a diverse panel of speakers who will discuss the theme ‘social media, digital communications and education.’

Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women and the Aberdeen event will feature high-profile women from across a range of different sectors.

The first key note address will be given by freelance journalist and feminist campaigner, Caroline Criado-Perez. Caroline writes for many major national news publications and regularly appears in both print and broadcast as a commentator. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year Award and was named one the Guardian’s People of the Year.

Also speaking at the event is Karin Hoeing, Managing Director of Schlumberger UK.  She joined Schlumberger in January 1996 as Junior Geophysicists and held various positions in line management, HR and marketing in Germany, Austria, UK, Malaysia, Romania and France. Her most recent posts include Vice President Wireline for Europe, Africa and Caspian, Global HR manager for Schlumberger Information Solutions as well as Vice President Marketing and Sales for Europe and Africa before moving to Aberdeen as the Managing Director, Schlumberger UK in October 2013.

Bringing along more than two decades of professional experience in strategic planning and organisational development, developing program and campaign strategies and designing research methodology, Sonali Khan will then share her expertise with attendees. Sonali holds the position of Country Director and Vice President at Breakthrough, and is a Board Member at MenEngage Alliance. Prior to foraying into the development sector, she enjoyed a successful career in journalism for networks including BBC World, Star Plus and CNBC.

Completing the line-up of external speakers is Lorna Gibson, the Scotland Coordinator for Code Club, a non-profit organisation which supports schools and other venues to run coding clubs for children. With a background in human-computer interaction, accessibility and child-centred design, she knows first-hand the impact technology and technological innovation can have. She feels strongly about young people having the opportunities to find out and try out as many diverse activities as possible.

Professor Margaret Ross, Head of the College of Arts and Social Sciences and who will bring the event to a close, commented: “I am delighted to welcome such an impressive line-up of inspirational women to our annual conference.

“Events are held across the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements and it is fantastic that we can play our part in this here in Aberdeen.

“We hope the day will provide great inspiration to the next generation of women who might follow in their footsteps by reaching the top of their chosen careers.”