Brookes to celebrate the advancement of women

Monday, 29 February 2016

Female student engineering

Next Tuesday (8 March) is International Women's Day a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. To mark the day, the University’s Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment is hosting a special event designed to support the advancement of women.

The event will be attended by special guest Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, who runs RhysJones Consultants and has spent many years promoting women in the construction industry through organisations such as Women in Property and WISE.

It forms part of the Faculty’s work to support the objectives of the Athena SWAN Charter as it works towards a Bronze Award. The Athena SWAN Charter Awards from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) have been running since 2005, recognising the commitment of the higher education sector to address gender inequalities, tackle the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics.

Helena Webster, Associate Dean Strategy and Development in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment said: “International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the courage, determination and achievements of women. This event is an opportunity to mark the day and further demonstrate our commitment to the Athena SWAN Charter. It is just one of a wide range of initiatives that we are undertaking to promote gender equality and support the career advancement of women in the Faculty.”

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the courage, determination and achievements of women. This event is an opportunity to mark the day and further demonstrate our commitment to the Athena SWAN Charter.

Helena Webster, Associate Dean Strategy and Development, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

“We have a number of specialist disciplines in the Faculty, such as engineering and computing, that have traditionally been male-dominated. Our aim is to attract more women students and staff into these disciplines and support their successful career progression.”

The Faculty will also be launching a new booklet at the event entitled Advancing Women in Technology, Design and Environment. It features inspiring role models and stories of women in the Faculty.

Examples include fourth year BSc Construction Project Management student Jessica Dowdy who was awarded the Design, Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award by TargetJobs last year; and Igea Toiani, Senior Lecturer in Architecture who has practiced in Australia, Germany and the UK and initiated the internationally award-winning journal Architecture and Culture.

The event (invite-only) will be held on 8 March 11.30pm-1.00pm in the John Henry Brookes Building on the Headington Campus.

More information about the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment and the courses they offer can be found on their website.

In 2015 the Athena SWAN charter and Gender Equality charter marks merged, and the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students.  

Oxford Brookes University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award awarded in 2013 and is currently working on a submission for a new award under the expanded charter. In May last year the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences was awarded a departmental Athena SWAN Silver Award.

‘Pledge for Parity’ is the theme for International Women’s Day this year, encouraging everyone to make a pledge to take action and help accelerate gender parity more quickly.

More information is available at www.internationalwomensday.com