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University of London’s ‘Leading Women’ campaign wins prestigious Guardian University Award


The year-long initiative, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of women being admitted to ‘special examinations’ in 1868 for the first time in the UK at the University of London, won the category ‘Marketing and Communications campaigns’.

Leading Women team pick up Guardian award

The judges found that the campaign imparted a clear message to engage its target audience, raised the profile of the university and show it in a new light.

The campaign built on the University’s founding principles of admitting students from all backgrounds, and its pivotal role in opening higher education to women. Today, the foremost aim of the University’s strategy is to invest in its academic excellence to widen student access through flexible learning, and to fulfil an ambitious programme of research promotion and facilitation in the humanities. Providing an international platform for discussions on breaking down barriers women still face in education and the workplace, the project has supported the University’s mission by highlighting the achievements and challenges faced by generations of women in higher education, and by creating a lasting legacy to ensure women continue to access education and lead in the future. 

Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and chair of the Leading Women campaign, commented: “I am delighted that our campaign won such a prestigious award. The gender equality debate is critical for the world’s future. For too long, women across the world have been disadvantaged educationally, socially, economically and politically. They are now asking why, and education is key to having this conversation.”

2018 was a year of celebration and activism, seeing the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the 150th anniversary of women being admitted to higher education, and saw many more cultural shifts towards gender equality, from #metoo to the unveiling of Millicent Garrett Fawcett’s statue in Parliament Square, sculpted by Leading Woman Gillian Wearing. Throughout this eventful year, Leading Women was part of this broader movement, continuing to raise awareness with its compelling, thought-provoking and multi-platform content and providing a forum for ongoing discussion  – and the University remains committed to continuing this conversation.   

Read the full Guardian article.