University to celebrate its inspirational women with free civic event in Nottingham

Friday, 06 March 2020

The University of Nottingham is to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020 by showcasing the knowledge and expertise of its talented women staff and students at a civic event in Old Market Square, Nottingham. 

The free event which is open to everyone, being jointly hosted with Nottingham Trent University from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Sunday 8 March, will feature fun, interactive activities for all the family offering an insight into some of the amazing work that happens across the university’s campuses.

In particular, the event aims to inspire young women in Nottingham and challenge the preconceptions and prejudices about gender roles and limitations, particularly around the science, technology, engineering and medical agenda. 

Professor Sarah Sharples, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “We're really excited to be using International Women’s Day 2020 as a way of inspiring and raising aspirations for the next generation of women thinkers and leaders. This year’s theme is around the idea that an equal world is an enabled world and the university is committed to challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions, improving situations and celebrating the achievements of women."

Sarah Sharples
IWD presents a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise the brilliant contribution that the women in our own community make across all our campuses. Our amazing women colleagues make a real difference to many lives, through their teaching, research, leadership and participation.
Professor Sarah Sharples, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Professor Mark Biggs, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and chair of the Nottingham Trent University Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, said: “International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the successes and immense contribution that women make to the world, and to champion the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are pleased to be hosting a week of events to shine a light on the challenges women face and how we can all contribute to eliminating these. At Nottingham Trent University we believe it is vital that we are all contributing to #EachforEqual.” 

Among the activities on offer will include: 

  • Computer programming using Ozobots, identifying what makes your fingerprint unique and learning how to solve a murder mystery using forensic science techniques 
  • The science behind great women sporting achievements – how your body works when you exercise and why physical activity is great for your health and wellbeing. 
  • A look at some of the ways in which women – half the solicitors’ profession – work in and with the law, more than one hundred years on from the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which allowed women to qualify as lawyers in England and Wales for the first time. 
  • Discover the story of the world’s first sci-fi novel, written by Margaret Cavendish in 1666, as a way of sharing her ideas at a time when women thinkers and researchers were excluded from universities and public debate. Explore a world of talking polar bears, submarines and worms with engineering tech. 

A wider programme of events linked to International Women’s Day 2020 is running at the University o Nottingham throughout the month of March, including a round table discussion and networking event on Monday 9 March introduced by Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West during which women staff, students and alumni who have taken unusual paths, are in unusual roles or who have fantastic stories to share will reveal what it means to them to be modern women. 

Other activities will include a women’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu self-defence class at the David Ross Sports Village on campus, yoga and meditation classes, a supper club, film screening and events focused on successful women leaders in business. 

Later this month, Sir Denis Follows CBE will be posthumously inducted into the University of Nottingham Sport Hall of Fame. An English graduate of the University, Sir Denis went on to become one of the UK’s most influential sports administrators, but is perhaps best known for penning the official letter that lifted the ban on women’s football, opening a pathway for the women’s game to grow into what it is today - a move that saw him later appointed an honorary life vice-president of the Women’s Football Association.  

Sir Denis Follows will be inducted into the University of Nottingham Sport Hall of Fame during the BUCS Big Wednesday Launch Dinner on Tuesday 24 March at the East Midlands Conference Centre on University Park campus. His daughter Margaret Ferris will receive the award on his behalf. 

Emma Thorne - Head of News
Phone: 0115 846 8092

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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