Celebrating International Women’s Day

25 February 2014

As part of the University’s International Women’s Day celebration next month, one of the lectures at Aberystwyth University will look at the life and times of Holocaust survivor Anka Bergman who gave birth to her daughter in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 and came to Wales following the war.

Entitled ‘Poetry of memoir: Testimonial from a Female Holocaust Survivor’, the lecture will be givenby Frances Rapport, Professor of Qualitative Health Research at Swansea University’s College of Medicine, on Thursday 6 March. 

Aberystwyth University will be holding a week-long programme of events from Monday 3 – Sunday 9 March which will include lectures, readings, debates, workshops, walks and competitions which have been co-ordinated by the University’s Psychology Department.

Activities include a ‘Women in Science’ debate, open reading sessions with staff and students from the Department of English and Creative Writing as well as an evening of singing and reciting at Arad Goch Theatre Company.

A full list of events can be found here: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/psychology/womens-day/

Professor Kate Bullen, Director of the Institute of Human Sciences, explains “As a University, we are deeply committed to supporting equality of opportunity for all staff and students.  The lack of women at senior levels of academia is a national problem which is particularly acute in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) subjects. 

“A key feature of our equality work in the University is to support and encourage women to progress their careers. Our week-long programme of events to mark International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements, experiences and views.

“This is a way of highlighting the progress and achievements of women in an inclusive and enjoyable way and there is a wide range of activities taking place over the seven days. I would encourage everyone in the University and the wider community to take a look at our website for more information on each event.”

In April 2014, the University will be applying for an Equality Challenge Unit Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award with the University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) simultaneously applying for a Departmental Bronze Award.

These awards recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM subjects in higher education.

Alongside the Athena Swan application, Aberystwyth University is also applying for the Equality Challenge Unit Gender Equality Chartermark (GEM) which is for academic staff, professional and support staff, human resources departments, equality and diversity practitioners in non STEMM subjects.

Professor Bullen adds, “We want to boost the number of women in science and help overcome the challenges facing all women at Aberystwyth when making that decision of applying for promotion.”

“Nationally and locally we are finding that women are under-represented in science, especially in more senior roles. We want to change that situation by understanding why this might be and what could be done to help women reach their full potential in the workplace.”