Staff and students across Cambridge are planning a series of events and activities to celebrate International Women's Day 2021 - including conferences, lectures, talks, social media campaigns, and even Spotify playlists

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the many contributions of women to the University’s education and research, including to our collaborations across the world. It is particularly poignant at a time when family, friends and colleagues may be separated and our interactions occur via a virtual setting.

Professor Val Gibson, Equality Champion focusing on STEMM subjects

Events marking International Women’s Day - on March 8 - will take place across the collegiate University and its institutions, raising awareness about women’s equality, the achievements of the past and the focus on the future.

Among them, the University’s International Women’s Day Lecture will see Dr Nicola Rollock, Senior Adviser on Race to the Vice-Chancellor, in conversation with Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University, discussing race, gender and identity.

A talk by Professor Sarah Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Gender and Global Health, University College London, will be hosted by the School of Clinical Medicine and reflect on the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of sex and gender in addressing them. And an event organised by Cambridge Assessment will feature author Patricia Seabright exploring gender inequality and the importance of women choosing to challenge in order to create a more equal society. Meanwhile, the Museum of Zoology is presenting a panel of women engaged with conservation projects around the world.

College events are also taking place, including female author roundtables, discussions around STEMM, and a conference on gender research and lived experience. Elsewhere, social media campaigns, blogs and Spotify playlists will recognise inspirational women.



Professor Val Gibson, the University’s Equality Champion focusing on STEMM subjects, said: “International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the many contributions of women to the University’s education and research, including to our collaborations across the world. It is particularly poignant at a time when family, friends and colleagues may be separated and our interactions occur via a virtual setting. It is from this space that I send a huge thank you to all who actively contribute to gender equality, and diversity and inclusion, and the women who make Cambridge such a wonderful place to work.

“The annual International Women’s Day events are always inspirational, and even more so this year. I will spend an enjoyable afternoon listening to all that they have to offer and take from them ideas to further advance gender equality in the University.”

Jenny Rampling and Amy Dolben, Co-Chairs of the University's Women’s Staff Network, said: “At the University of Cambridge, we are privileged to have so many extraordinary women among our staff, students and alumni. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. However, it also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity within the institution – from reducing the gender pay gap to ensuring equality of opportunity and supporting staff with caring responsibilities. This is particularly pertinent during the ongoing pandemic as women have borne both the financial and emotional brunt of COVID-19.

"The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Choose to Challenge’. As Co-Chairs of the University of Cambridge Women’s Staff Network, we choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We are also partnering with the Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN) to campaign for women’s equality across the higher education sector.”

The University of Cambridge Women’s Staff Network seeks to empower, support and inspire through events, networking opportunities and sharing experiences via its members. To join the Women’s Staff Network you can subscribe to the mailing list to receive news and information about events. Join the mailing list here.

This year’s International Women’s Day events include:

New Hall Society International Day Celebration, Murray Edwards College
Saturday 6 March, 11am

Postgraduate students will give presentations about the lives of women around the world:
• Sophie Harbour – gender-based violence in South Africa
• Kanika Mahajan – violence against women and effective ways to bring about change in India
• Tania Mejia-O’Donnell – women’s representation and treatment in US prisons
This will be followed by a Bollywood dance lesson led by the founder of the Cambridge University Bollywood Dance Troupe (back by popular demand!)
The event is being hosted on Zoom and is free to Murray Edwards students and alumnae. More information here.

School of Clinical Medicine International Women’s Day Event - Thinking about sex and gender: how can this help us address COVID-19?
Monday 8 March, 12.30pm-1.30pm

The University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine is marking IWD2021 with a reflection on the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Sarah Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Gender and Global Health, University College London and Co-Founder of Global Health 50/50, is guest speaker.
More information here.

Cambridge Assessment - International Women’s Day talk with Patricia Seabright
Monday 8 March, 3.30pm-4.30pm

Cambridge Assessment Women in Leadership staff network is organising a talk by Patricia Seabright, author of She Said! A Guide for Millennial Women to Speaking and Being Heard. There will also be a panel discussion with Patricia Seabright, Jane Mann (Managing Director of CPE), Pamela Baxter (Director of Cambridge Exams Publishing) and Andrew Nye (Head of New Product Development, Cambridge English). More information here.

UIS International Women's Day Event
Monday 8 March, 3pm-4.30pm

This is an online event with a diverse range of speakers and talks. Speakers include Dr Stephen Cave (Executive Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence), Dr Eleanor Drage and Dr Kerry Mackereth (Post-doctoral Research Associates at the Centre for Gender Studies), Michelle Child (Operations Director/ Engineering Industry Professional) and Prof Dame Sandra Dawson (KPMG Professor Emeritus of Management Studies).
More information here.

University of Cambridge 2021 International Women’s Day Lecture
Monday 8 March, 4pm-5.15pm

Dr Nicola Rollock, Senior Adviser on Race to the Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University, discuss race, gender and identity at the University of Cambridge as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
More information here.

Inspiring Conservation on International Women's Day, Museum of Zoology
Monday 8 March, 5pm-6pm

The past 12 months have changed the world, but there are reasons for optimism in nature. Join a panel of amazing women and be inspired by the young people and communities engaged with conservation projects around the world, from saving elephants in Zambia to youth power protecting habitats in the Philippines, educating the next generation of ornithologists in India and more.
More information here.

International Women’s Day Celebration, hosted by the St Catharine's FemSoc and Shirley Society 
Monday 8 March, 6pm-7pm 

Come and listen or take part in this International Women’s Day celebration! The theme is ‘challenge’. If you have any anecdotes, short stories, art or anything you would like to share at this event (anonymous or otherwise), please submit them to the online form. Perhaps you want to share the women/non-binary people who have inspired you, or have thoughts on how art can challenge sexism in society? The deadline for submissions is Saturday 6 March.
More information here.

Wolfson College’s International Women’s Day Conference
Monday 8 March, 6pm-9pm 

A joint effort between our WCSA Women's Reps and the Interdisciplinary Research Hub on Gender, this virtual conference provides a safe and supportive environment for Wolfson College members to discuss their work and lived experiences. Our speakers are grouped into three panels, each of which is tied together through a common theme. Panellists will be given the opportunity to share their expertise, followed by a moderated discussion to engage with audience questions. 
More information here.

The Female Voice: Celebrating the Women Authors of Magdalene
Monday 8 March, 6.30pm

Join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day with a roundtable discussion featuring some of Magdalene’s female authors.
What is your process of writing? How did you discover your voice as an author? What inspires your characters? What challenges did you face in getting published? Members and friends are invited to attend a webinar and Q&A with four of Magdalene's recently published fiction writers to discuss their experiences of becoming an author.
More information here

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Hughes Hall Women in STEM
Monday 8 March, 7pm-8.15pm

We are very pleased to be hosting this event on International Women’s Day 2021, as we place a spotlight on the work of a number of inspirational Hughes Hall women. Our panellists are all Hughesians working and studying in STEM subjects, who will be discussing their careers, research and journeys into their chosen field.
Presentations will be followed by a Q&A and panel discussion.
More information here.

From Mississippi to Cambridge: Marie Battle Singer, Britain's first Black psychoanalyst, Wolfson College
Wednesday 10 March, 6pm-7pm

Webinar discussing the life achievements of Marie Battle Singer, who navigated race, gender, and national identity on both sides of the Atlantic.
More information here.

International Women's Day at Corpus Christi College
Thursday March 11, 7pm

This year we're celebrating International Women's Day with an evening full of interesting talks and discussions. We are kicking off the event with three exceptional talks by members of our community, Dr Kerry Mackereth, Mobeen Hussain, and Ola Osman. There will also be a panel discussion centered around the general theme of being a woman or a non-binary person in academia, featuring five Corpus Christi fellows: Dr Shruti Kapila, Professor Caroline Bassett, Dr Claudia Bonfio, Dr Daria Frank, and Dr Philippa Hoskin.
More information here.


Other activities marking International Women’s Day include:

Robinson Women social media campaign

A month-long social media campaign has been launched to recognise some of the Robinson College community’s inspirational women, among them an Army colonel, cancer researcher, award-winning filmmaker, forensic psychiatrist, charity leaders, eco-tourism entrepreneur, public health professor, aerospace engineer, sustainable sourcing expert, motorsport concussion researcher, goat farmer, and more. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. #IWD #IWD2021 #RobinsonWomen

Blog: Clare Hall Honorary Fellow Melanne Verveer discusses gender equality in the US 

A blog by Honorary Fellow of Clare Hall Melanne Verveer – who was Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton as first lady - reflects on her career addressing gender equality in the US and touches on the disproportionately negative impact COVID-19 has had on women. More information here.

Blog: Clare Hall Life Members Rea Eldem and Francesca Root on building more equitable organisational cultures

Founded by Rea Eldem, IN-VISIBLE BERLIN supports organisations in their transformation process towards a more equitable organisational culture. More information here.

Gateway Women series by Murray Edwards College

The second alumnae interview of Murray Edwards’ ‘Gateway Women’ series will be published to mark International Women’s Day. The series celebrates 10 years of the College’s Gateway Programme, with 10 alumnae invited to share their experiences of Gateway and discuss their careers since leaving the College.
More information here.

IWD21 playlist by Newnham College’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow Zoe Howe

Newnham's RLF Writing Fellow / music author Zoë Howe has curated an eclectic female-led playlist to inspire Newnham students this International Women's Day! The playlist includes artists Zoë has worked with musically or written books about.
More information here.

'We still have a long way to go' – a Homerton College alumna profile for International Women’s Day

For Christine Andrews (née Harbottle), coming to Homerton in 1947 changed the course of her life.
More information here.

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