Social Responsibility

International Women's Day

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:08:00 GMT

A whole host of diverse and interactive events and activities for staff, students and the public took place across the University's campus to celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March. Here are just a few examples from the Faculity of Biology, Medicine and Health and the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

On 2 March, the University joined forces with Manchester Histories to kick-start the celebrations and opened its laboratories in Stopford Building to the public to host the informative and entertaining "Exploding Women" event.

The BLS interpreted event brought together different communities and audiences to explode the myth of women in science through a brilliant performance delivered by comedy duo Lipservice. Wearing lab coats and safety goggles like 'real scientists', attendees explored the achievements and impact on society of five of Manchester’s most influential female scientists: Kathleen Drew - Queen of seaweed, Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw - Rubik’s cube expert and maths genius who was deaf from aged 8, Caroline Birley - fossil hunter, Marie Stopes - palaeobotanist and women’s right campaigner, and Dame Margaret Beckett, metallurgist.

Exploding Women is part of the Wonder Women Festival, Manchester’s annual feminist festival, which ran from 2-12 March, the festival celebrated the women’s movement through a radical programme of cultural events, asking how far we’ve come in 100 years – and how far we have yet to go.

On International Women’s Day itself, the Faculty hosted an afternoon of activities in Roscoe Building. Welcoming guest speakers including Susan Oliver RN FRCN, MSc, OBE, Nurse Consultant in Rheumatology and Professor Maureen Baker CBE FRCGP, Immediate past Chair of Council, Royal College of General Practitioners and there was a choice of three panel discussions. The event welcomed over 200 guests with a mixed audience of both men and women, Associate Dean for Social Responsibility, Hema Radhakrishnan said, “It was an excellent event where world leading professionals came together and shared their own professional and personal stories to inspire the audience and urged them to aspire for more by being bold and embracing change.”

On Monday 6 March, the Faculties of Science and Engineering and Biology, Medicine and Health partnered with the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan as well as Manchester City Council following on from the successful ‘Brainbox’ collaboration for Manchester Day, 2016.

This time, a ‘Women in STEMM’ event was brought to young people from Greater Manchester in two workshops which explored what it is like to study sciences and engineering, and to follow a science career, delivered by inspirational female scientists. A wide range of science subjects were covered, from psychology to astrophysics.

15 Greater Manchester schools were involved and feedback from both the pupils and their teachers showed that they all came away understanding better what a career in science could be like and that it’s an option from people of any gender.

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