8 March: International Women's Day events
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on 8 March to mark the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women; to raise awareness of discrimination and bias; and to inspire and empower us all to take action for equality. The theme for IWD 2021 is #choosetochallenge.
The University of London is committed to gender equality and is proud of the role it has played in opening higher education to women. In 1868, it became the first university to offer first-degree courses to women. It was also the first university to appoint a female lecturer and vice-chancellor. English literary critic Caroline Spurgeon was appointed as the first female university professor in 1900, and in 1948, Dame Lillian Penson was appointed as the first female vice-chancellor in any university within the Commonwealth. In 2018, the University celebrated the contributions of 150 'Leading Women' with a year-long series of special events.
Today, the University's staff is nearly 60% female. It works hard to ensure an inclusive environment that supports academic and professional women, and is a signatory to the Athena Swan Charter, a global framework that is transforming gender equality within higher education and research.
The University's Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team is chaired by Professor Mary Stiasny. Over the past year, progress has been made on collating gender equality data, analysing it, and defining thematic areas where further action is needed. This work will be taken forward through the development of a gender equality plan that includes actions in areas such as recruitment and selection, career development, inclusive policies, and working practices. As work on the plan is taken forward, colleagues across the organisation will have the opportunity to engage with and support gender equality initiatives.
University of London events
- 1-21 March: Last year, the University celebrated International Women's Day by partnering with the Women of the World UK festival (WoW) for a programme of events at South Bank Centre. This year, due to the pandemic, the WOW festival is taking place online between 1-21 March and includes 'In Conversation' sessions and interactive workshops.
- 7-9 March: University College London's EGA Institute for Women's Health will host a series of events to mark International Women's Day.
- 8 March: Members of SASiety, a student group within the School of Advanced Study, will lead a discussion of 'retrieving women from the archives': an exploration of voices that have been lost or forgotten through the passing of time but which are being rediscovered through research.
- 8 March: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will host its annual Women in Health lecture, 'Women at the forefront of global leadership in the COVID-19 era'.
- 8 March: St George's will host 'International Women's Day: in conversation with Dr Cecilia Akrisie Anim CBE'. Dr Anim will share her journey through nursing from a town in Ghana to the presidency of the Royal College of Nursing. She is the first Black African in this role in 99 years.
- 8 March: City, University of London's CityUniWomen Network will host a panel discussion, 'Women supporting women: considering its value and importance in challenging inequality'.
- 9 March: King's College London's Global Institute for Women's Leadership and Ipsos MORI will host an event exploring what's next for gender equality as we emerge from COVID-19.
- 8 March: Violinist Madeleine Mitchell directs a livestreamed concert at St John's Smith Square, London, celebrating 'A Century of Music by British Women (1921-2021)' with her London Chamber Ensemble.
- 8 March: The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) hosts 'The big challenges for a better future'. This panel, led by Ann Francke OBE, Chief Executive of the CMI, will discuss the collective effort that will be needed to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.
- 10 March: 'There's No Place Like Home: A Woman's Place in the Pandemic?' York St John University marks International Women's Day with a virtual panel of experts to discuss how gender and racial inequalities are being exacerbated in the pandemic and reflect on what it might mean to 'build back better'.
- 10 March: The 30% Club, the Reward and Employee Benefits Association, and Peppy will host 'We know the gender pay gap exists, the question is, what will it take to close it?'
- 11 March: The University of Aberdeen will host 'Men choosing to challenge', a discussion of how men can be invited into the conversation on equality for women and why this is important.
- 12 March: Join the interactive session 'Press pause on your inner critic', led by Clare Josa, author of Ditching Imposter Syndrome.