Women of Wonder – our inspirational women

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Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s Day and we’re calling on you to join us to #BeBoldForChange. Across the Faculty we have a number of inspirational women who are championing changes in the workplace and within their disciplines to ensure they are more gender inclusive and to change commonly held perceptions about them.

This year we’ve caught up with each of our Women of Wonder to find out what motivated and inspired them to take up a career in STEM. To find out more about our Women of Wonder, watch the videos below.

Professor Alice Larkin

Alice Larkin is Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering and Professor of Climate Science & Energy Policy at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. She developed an interest in physics from an early age and went on to train as an astrophysicist at the University of Leeds furthering her study with a PhD in climate modelling. Throughout her academic training she encountered inspirational people who she cites as the reasons for her love of her subject.

Dr Delia Vazquez

Delia Vazquez is Senior Lecturer in Retail Marketing in the School of Materials. After a successful career in industry she joined the University, founding the International Fashion Retailing MSc and becoming the Programme Director for the course. Her interest in business stems from her own entrepreneurial parents who both were exceptional in their own right.

Professor Louise Walker

Louise Walker is Professor of Mathematics in the School of Mathematics. She found her inspiration for the subject through the subject itself as there appeared to be a shortage of female role models in the subject early on in her career.

Professor Philippa Browning

Philippa Browning is Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics. She, like Professor Walker, found that there was a lack of female role models in her field of interest and so pursued a career in physics after being inspired by those people who became the first to travel to space.

Dr Louise Natrajan

Louise Natrajan is Reader in Inorganic Chemistry in the School of Chemistry. Louise found inspiration in her best friend from her PhD, she supported her through her programme and drove her to get the most out of her research project. This video acts as an important reminder that it is not always those ahead of us in our careers that can inspire us, it can also be those who surround us on a day to day basis.

Dr Caroline Jay

Caroline Jay started out on her scientific path when she completed her undergraduate degree in psychology; she then went on to obtain an MSc and PhD in Computer Science. She is now Senior Lecturer in Empirically Sound Software Engineering in the School of Computer Science. She never thought that she would have scientific career but after putting aside people’s preconceptions and thinking about what she really wanted to do, she realised that science was her career of choice.

International Women’s Day is a day of celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and aims to promote gender inclusivity around the world. We as a university actively stand by and promote these principles and to mark this day, we have a week-long schedule of events happening across campus that are free to attend for all students and staff with a dedicated event for alumni. More information about the activities that are happening can be found on the Official University of Manchester Facebook page.

To find out more about the Women of Wonder initiative within the faculty, please visit our Women of Wonder page.