Woman leaders inspire and celebrate at International Women’s Day event

Nearly fifty staff and students at the University of the Highlands and Islands took part in a special event to mark International Women’s day, held annually on 8 March. The event on Tuesday 10 March, was held at Inverness College UHI with digital connections available to support those not able to attend in person to be equally included.

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A group of delegates at the event

The programme included guest speakers Caroline Gillwood, Head of Programmes at Stonewall Scotland, and Rachel Watters, National Women’s Officer at the National Union of Students who led the celebration of achievements and inspired discussion around this year’s international theme, ‘Each for Equal’.

In her opening and closing of this year’s event Sarah Burton, Board Chair of the Inverness College UHI Board of Management explained why this year’s theme is particularly significant to her.

She said: “In my role as a businesswoman in the third sector, I seek to create opportunities for disabled people to grow to their full, self-defined potential. It is also essential in my role as a Board Chair in the education sector where success for my organisation is founded in part on the ability to elevate those voices often excluded from governance in academia.

“In both cases it is not enough to simply encourage equality, we must be passionate about driving equality through every small, individual action we take.

“Actively supporting women to be heard and then celebrating their successes is a shared responsibility we must all rise to. This is what is so exciting about today’s event – it celebrates all we are as individuals and elevates all we do as an incredible collective voice."

Event organiser Alex Walker from the university’s Learning and Teaching Academy said:

“This has been yet another fantastic event, providing an opportunity for colleagues to come together, share their stories and inspire each other.

“It is also a chance for the university, as an institution which actively promotes equality, to reflect on what more it can do to champion and support women staff and students who identify as women in their development, progression and representation at all levels in education, research and professional services.”

Ash Morgan, the Highlands and Islands Student Association’s Vice President (Further Education) said:

“We are delighted to have been welcomed to be a part of this event. At HISA, we strive for equal representation of the student body at the university, and an education system that creates equal opportunities for all.

“We value the incredible work of our female students, officers and staff members, but acknowledge the ongoing struggle of equal recognition, appreciation, and rights for women.”

The event was part of a wider campaign to mark International Women’s Day. To follow the conversation and get involved use the hashtags #EachforEqual #thinkuhi