Inspirational women celebrated in University exhibition

Inspirational women who have blazed a trail for colleagues and students are being celebrated by the University of 水宜坊 in a portrait exhibition.

Terezia is leaning against a wooden balcony rail overlooking the work area of a library
  • Staff at the University of 水宜坊 have nominated women who have inspired them to celebrate their academic and professional achievements
  • The project, titled 鈥極ur People: Inspirational Women鈥 will feature 21 women specially selected from over 300 nominees in a portrait exhibition held at the University 
  • The project aims to showcase and celebrate women from across the University, and increase the number of women represented in portraits and photography around campus

Inspirational women who have blazed a trail for colleagues and students are being celebrated by the University of 水宜坊 in a portrait exhibition.

The University launched a special project entitled 鈥極ur People: Inspirational Women鈥, on International Women鈥檚 Day, aimed to showcase and celebrate women from across the organisation, and increase the number of women represented in portraits and photography around campus. 

Colleagues from across the University were invited to nominate the women who inspired them and share the academic and professional achievements and accolades as well as how they live the University鈥檚 values. 

A panel, made up of colleagues from across the University, a member of the University鈥檚 Council and a representative from the Students' Union, came together to discuss the 320 nominations and selected 21 women to feature in a series of portraits exhibited at the University throughout June and July.

Professor Ruth Blakeley, Vice-President for Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, was one of the women selected. Through successful collaboration with partners around the world, Ruth鈥檚 research on international security, terrorism and political violence, and human rights has made a difference to how national policy makers and international human rights advocates approach issues of torture and rendition. 

Ruth鈥檚 research has been used in litigation on behalf of torture victims in the European Court of Human Rights, US Supreme Court and the Guant谩namo Bay military commissions, and has opened up pressing questions about the global governance of human rights.

Professor Blakeley said: 鈥淚t means a lot to see and hear the impact that my work has had. I鈥檝e been taking on different leadership roles very consciously because there aren鈥檛 enough senior women. The motivation when in leadership roles is to use the influence that comes with that role to create spaces and conditions that enable others to take similar paths and thrive.鈥 

Other nominees selected include the University鈥檚 Muslim Chaplain in the Belief No Belief and Religion Life Centre, a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering who has developed outreach activities for primary schools, and a member of the University鈥檚 security team who has been nominated for her people-first approach, all of who have made a difference to the University community.

Professor Sheila Francis, Faculty Director for One University (Faculty of Health) said:

 鈥樷楾he Our People: Inspirational Women initiative aims to showcase and celebrate women from across our University community. It was born out of a simple observation in one Faculty and has grown into a University-wide initiative.

鈥淲hen we originally embarked on this project we could not have anticipated the wonderful response we have had from colleagues across the University and we have been overwhelmed by the incredible achievements of all those nominated.

鈥淎 wonderful selection of more than 300 women were nominated; a testament to colleagues鈥 accomplishments, contributions and the positive impact they are having on those around them.鈥  

Professor John Derrick, Lead Faculty Vice-President and UEB One University Lead, said: 鈥淐reating a culture where all colleagues are celebrated, feel a sense of belonging and can thrive is a core strand of our One University pillar. We hope that this initiative contributes to that by sharing these women鈥檚 stories, celebrating their contributions and helping to inspire colleagues, students and visitors.鈥

The portrait exhibition will be open to members of the University from 25 June 2024.