University of Aberdeen: Maggie Alphonsi MBE to help University mark International Women’s Day

The University of Aberdeen will once again celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) with a series of inspirational online and in-person events including keynote speaker Maggie Alphonsi, the face of international women’s rugby.

She will open a stellar line up of events running from Tuesday, 8 March – Friday, 11 March with an online session.

Maggie has represented England no less than 74 times, helped her country win a record-breaking seven consecutive Six Nations crowns, and was key to the team’s first World Cup victory in 20 years in 2014. As a motivational speaker, she draws on her prolific sporting career to share tactics for tackling challenges head-on, performing under pressure and challenging perceptions.

IWD is marked every year in recognition of the contributions of women to society across economic, political, and social sectors. The University’s programme of events will feature successful women from a range of different areas who are committed to promoting equality and diversity.

This year will feature an online mentoring session where attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the journeys and challenges that our mentors have faced in their career development. It will shine a light on the importance of mentoring in developing knowledge and skills in the workplace.

Hosted by University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Tracey Slaven the discussion will also offer a Question-and-Answer session as well as career advice and top tips for progression.

Mentors at the virtual gathering include Gillian Fowler, Global Marketing and Communications Manager, Coach and Mentor, and founding member of charity BackStrong, Martina Chukwuma-Ezike, Chief Executive of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation and University Rector, Dr Ana Payo-Payo, Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Dr Madhuri Thakur, Mental Health Mentor and Julia Leng, Careers Advisor.

Professor of Marine Ecology at the University Beth Scott will chair a panel discussion on climate change featuring high profile women from across business, community and research. They will offer ideas on how women’s voices from across these areas can be amplified in the climate emergency arena.

Our speakers are leaders in their chosen fields, and I have no doubt that the knowledge and experience they share with us will be both fascinating and motivational. We are extremely grateful they are able to join us.”
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Tracey Slaven
All events will follow the IWD official campaign theme of #BreakTheBias.

University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Tracey Slaven said: “We are looking forward to welcoming another fantastic line-up of inspirational people to help us celebrate International Women’s Day.

“A wide variety of topics will be covered in this year’s programme of events and all our guests are making significant contributions to some of the biggest challenges in society today.

“Our speakers are leaders in their chosen fields, and I have no doubt that the knowledge and experience they share with us will be both fascinating and motivational. We are extremely grateful they are able to join us.

“It is fantastic to see so many people signed up already and I’d warmly encourage anyone interested in these free to attend events to join us.”

In the week leading up to IWD on Tuesday, March 8, the University will also carry a social media campaign which will share the stories of some of our own inspirational women. A painting of the first female Rowett Institute professors will also be unveiled on IWD. Featuring Professors Baukje de Roos, Jennie MacDiarmid, Alex Johnstone, Lora Heisler and Emeritus Professor Linda Williams, the painting will be displayed in the Rowett main seminar room.

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