Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 at UoN

February 23rd, 2021

International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place on Monday 8 March 2021, with celebrations taking place across the university throughout March.

This year’s IWD theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’ and includes the following call to action:

A challenged world is an alert world.
Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
We can choose to challenge and call out gender stereotypes and bias.
We can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
Collectively, we can create an inclusive world.
From challenge comes change. Choose to challenge.” IWD 2021

Central Events/Initiatives

A range of central events are taking place to celebrate IWD 2021, including:

Opening Videos – launching on 8 March
To open the celebrations for International Women’s Day, we will be launching four videos, produced by staff and students at the UoN, to recognise and celebrate women.

A reading of ‘Hers for the taking’: a poem about female empowerment by Arshia Agrawal – UoN Staff and Students

Choosing to Challenge through Dance – The SU Dance Society

Celebrating Women in Engineering: Product Design and Manufacture – The Design Society

Celebrating IWD: A video from UoN staff talking about what IWD means to themUoN Staff

Podcasts – Listen on Spotify

Episode 1 – How we can meet new challenges with a community of women – a conversation with Mel Berry and Holly Woodford

Listen to this podcast chat with Mel and Holly from HerSpirt. They talk about how HerSpirit, an innovative and inspirational initiative has supported women to embark on new challenges to promote physical and mental wellbeing.

Episode 2 – How I’ve challenged myself during lockdown – a conversation with Katharine, Liz and Linda from the University of Nottingham Womens Network

Listen to Katharine, Liz and Linda talk about their experiences of challenging themselves with new ventures that helped them to stay physically and emotionally positive and put a smile on their faces.

Episode 3 – How I have challenged myself to enter a field I love – a conversation with Lukeki Kaindama, alumna and Principal Scientist at Public Health England

Listen to this podcast to hear more from our inspiring alumna Lukeki Kaindama about her story to pursue a career in Public Health, what she had to do on the way to get to the job she loves now and her tips on the challenges she overcame on the way.

Episode 4 – How I challenged myself to take part in a huge physical challenge after a health scare- a conversation with alumna Emma Cole

Listen to this podcast to hear more from our amazing alumna Emma Cole, who although suffering from health problems early last year took on a huge physical challenge during lockdown.

Episode 5 – How I’ve been challenged during the pandemic and how I set up my business as a new graduate – a conversation with alumna Olivia Swift

Listen to this podcast to hear more from our Alumni Laureate Award winner Olivia Swift. Olivia is a trained midwife and entrepreneur who talks frankly about how she has faced challenges during the pandemic and working out how to continue to support her company, Lotus Maternity, during the pandemic and whilst settling up her brand.

Episode 6 – How I challenged myself to progress in a career in microbiology and space – a conversation with alumna Emily P. Seto

Listen to this podcast to hear more from our Alumni Laureate Award winner Emily P. Seto. Hear about Emily’s health issues in childhood and how this solidified her interests in microbiology. Emily has now moved from clinical sciences to aerospace and what challenges she has faced along the way include gender stereotypes around working in science.


Open throughout March, the Padlet will provide an opportunity for all members of the university community (staff, students and alumni) to share their thoughts and inspire others on the theme of ‘Choose to Challenge’.

To leave an inspirational quote to be shared with others, please visit the IWD Padlet.

Panel Discussion: Leading the Way: Women’s Stories of Managing and Overcoming Challenge
Wednesday 24 March, 1-2pm

Join us for a panel discussion featuring Professor Gina Higginbottom MBE, Kelly Vere MBE, Charagh (Bibi) Kwakye and chaired by Margaret Monckton, to mark the closing of the UoN celebrations for International Women’s Day.  This inspirational group of women will discuss personal experiences of managing and overcoming challenge within their careers, studies and personal life, and share their achievements.  A live Q&A will enable audience members to ask questions.

Panelists: Margaret Monckton (Chair): Margaret Monckton is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and heads up the Finance and Infrastructure Team.  As a member of the Executive, Margaret contributes to the corporate and strategic leadership of the University as well as taking the lead on the financial management and sustainability of the University.

Professor Gina Higginbottom MBE: Dr Gina Higginbottom was appointed in 2015 as the Mary Seacole Professor of Ethnicity and Community Health at the University of Nottingham – the first nurse of BME origin to hold a professorial role in a Russell Group university in England and is now Emeritus Professor.  Professor Higginbottom was awarded an MBE in 1998 for services to health promotion and young people.

Kelly Vere MBE: Kelly Vere is the Director of Technical Skills & Strategy at the University of Nottingham where she began her career as a junior medical technician in 1999. She now leads an award-winning programme to enable the strategic and professional development of the University’s 700+ technical staff across the UK and Asia. Kelly has written for the Guardian, Times Higher Education and Nature on the role of university technicians. She was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours for Services to Higher Education.

Charagh (Bibi) Kwakye: Bibi Kwakye is a final year Geography with Business Student at the University of Nottingham.  Bibi is a self-taught Graphic Designer, Photographer and Videographer, and became self-employed during the pandemic and has worked with clients such as Experian, Vintsol and XV Events.

Book Here

Local Events

Celebrating Women in Chemistry Conference 2021
Monday 8th March 2021, 9:00am – 5:30 pm

We are excited to bring you the 3rd Celebrating Women in Chemistry conference bringing together both delegates and inspiring role models from within the chemistry community on a virtual platform. This online event will celebrate International Women’s Day and showcase the contributions women have made to chemistry within academia, industry and digital communications.

Register Here

#IWD2021 Pop-up for women in education
Monday 8 March, 11am – 12pm

An online pop-up event for staff and students in the School of Education and beyond to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. The schedule is being finalised and will include the following speakers:

    • Dr Kay Fuller – Introduction to IWD and speakers
    • Michelle Gladstone – A student’s perspective
    • Jo Hancock – Women’s staff network
    • Bonnie Erdelyi-Betts – The Sphere Challenge
    • Dr Xin Gao – A Chinese perspective on IWD
    • Annette Amoa – A student’s perspective
    • Dr Andri Georgiadou – A research perspective

Everyone is welcome. Click here to join the meeting.

Researching the Lives of Black Women, Centre for Black Studies, Faculty of Arts
Monday 8 March, 16:30-18:00

Speakers: Dr Leighan Renaud (Bristol) & Dr Francesca Sobande (Cardiff)

Chair: Keisha Bruce

The University of Nottingham Centre for Black Studies invites you to join us for this conversation about contemporary research into the lives of Black women in the UK and in the diaspora. Join Dr Francesca Sobande (Cardiff) and Dr Leighan Renaud (Bristol) who will discuss their different interdisciplinary approaches to their research and their positions as Black female academics working in British academia today. This will be a relaxed conversation between Francesca and Leighan chaired by PhD researcher, Keisha Bruce. There will be an opportunity for a Q&A in the later half of the event.

Book Here

In the Name of Your Daughter, Film Screening.
Monday 8th March, 19:00 – 20:45

Join us for a viewing of the outstanding feature length film ‘In the name of your daughter.’ We hope that this film will inspire change and ignite action in the fight to end FGM.

Rhobi Samwelly, a brave local hero, stands up to her community and provides a Safe House to protect the courageous girls. Although female genital mutilation (FGM) is harmful and illegal, in Northern Tanzania it is widely believed that girls’ clitorises must be cut off to reduce promiscuity. Mutilated girls also demand twice the bride price as uncut girls. The chillingly named ‘cutting season’ runs through the school holidays in December. Now, some of the most courageous girls in the world, some as young as eight, are leaving everyone they love behind to run to a Safe House, not knowing if they’ll ever see their families again. We follow the feisty and courageous 12-year-old Rosie Makore, one of the brave girls who flees from female genital mutilation (FGM) and the child marriage that her parents had planned for her. We meet the charismatic Rhobi Samwelly who protects the girls and fights the thousands-year-old practice. But ancient traditions die hard. In cooperation with the Safe House, Police officer Sijali and her team start cracking down on FGM, arresting parents and cutters while rescuing girls at risk. As the year’s cutting season winds down, in heartbreaking reconciliation meetings, parents must decide if they’ll spare their daughters and take them back.

Trailer: https://inthenameofyourdaughterfilm.com/trailer/

For further details and to register, click here.

Women in Aerodynamics Guest Lecture
Thursday 11 March, 5pm – 6pm
Prof. Aimy Wissa, Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Science and Engineering department at the University of Illinois provides a talk on Avian-Inspired Flow Control: A pathway towards multifunctional wings, jointly as part of the Aerospace Aerodynamics module and FLUTE Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering and is part of an ongoing ‘Women in Aerodynamics’ annual lecture.
Join the meeting here.

UoN Sport International Women’s Day activities

  1. Moves+ Challenges – get involved with a run (8km), walk (8,000 steps) or cycling (8 miles) and be in with a chance of winning a Posh Nosh treat box.
    There will be eight spot prizes available (to tie in with the date) of Posh Nosh hamper boxes (delivered to the winners at an address of their choice). Winners will be contacted directly by email on Wednesday 10 March.
    To get involved, students and staff should download the Moves+ app – simply sign up by searching Moves+ in the apple app store or google play store. From Monday 8 March, the challenges will be live and open for users to join. Questions can be sent to BR-moves@nottingham.ac.uk
  2. Daily quote release – Get on to the Engage and Empower social media channels to read daily quotes from female influencers/inspirational women.
  3. Empower Spotify Playlist – Tunes by female artists to inspire you to be active, to be released from Monday via the Engage and Empower social media channels
  4. Nomination campaign – your opportunity to nominate inspirational women that have inspired or motivated you. Details to be shared through UoN Sport Instagram on Sunday 7 March.

SoHS RCoP International Women’s Day Special Event
23 March 2021 12.30-14.00

Please join us for an extended RCoP Special Event in honour of International Women’s Day. This 90-minute event will celebrate the diverse offering of research outputs from women, at various stages in their career, within the School of Health Sciences.

Speakers: Professor Heather Wharrad– Chair in e-Learning and Health Informatics, academic lead for the award-winning Health e-Learning and Media (HELM) team and the Digital Innovations in Healthcare Education (DICE) group, will be discussing pathways to impact for digital learning in healthcare.

Stacy Johnson MBE– Is an Associate Professor with practice and research expertise in reverse mentoring for inclusion, critical inclusive leadership, and entrepreneurship. During her talk, she will be demystifying commercialising research.

Dr Eleanor Wilson– Anne McLaren Research Fellow and Chair of the SHS Early Career Researcher Group, will be discussing life as an early career researcher and her work on projects which investigate patient and family experiences of illness, staff roles and service evaluations.

Click to join

International Women’s Day 2021 at CompSci Online Campaign

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, the School of Computer Science will be running an online campaign during the whole month of March.

We have asked all students and staff at the school to tell us about women who have inspired them. This includes women in all fields.

Submissions link: International Women’s Day 2021

Current submissions include women such as Ada Lovelace (first programmer in history), Mariana Enriquez (Argentinian writer), Hypatia (Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician), Anna Politkowska (Russian independent journalist who exposed Russian’s role in the Chechen War), Catriona Stewart (founder of Scottish Women’s Autism Network), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (first female African Director-Gerneral of the World Trade Organisation), to name a few.

From March 1st until March 31st, we will be posting these submissions via Twitter and Instagram. When participants have given consent, we will also post about them and why they were inspired by this incredible woman.

Choose to Challenge Chair, The School of Health Science and the Medical School

The School of Health Sciences and Medical School in partnership with Nottingham University’s Hospital Trusts are celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 by creating a space for relaxation and reflection and a dedicated Choose to Challenge Chair.

We know that many women working in both the hospital and the University have faced their own challenges this year and we are delighted that the University have supported this initiative with the creation of positive outside environment.

The Blue-Green approach to urban water management

As part of the IWD events, the sustainability team are sharing the work of women leading the way to a more sustainable future at the University of Nottingham.

Emily O’Donnell is a Research Fellow in Urban Flood Resilience in the School of Geography. Emily’s research addresses strategies needed to enable cities to achieve flood resilience and water security that are sustainable, reliable and enduring. In this blog, Emily outlines her work on the role blue-green infrastructure can play as part of transformative change in urban flood risk and water management. Read the blog here.

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