International Women's Day 2017 marked with female entrepreneur showcase

Issue date: 08 March 2017

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will celebrate International Women's Day today with an event showcasing the achievements of female entrepreneurs.

The Celebrating Female Entrepreneurs event at Future Space, a new facility on Frenchay campus, is being staged to inspire and empower future leaders in Bristol.

Speakers will include Helena Hills, of True Start Coffee; Katie Alcott, of Frank Water; Marion Gillet, of Design Council Spark; and former UWE Bristol product design student Neha Chaudhry (pictured), of Walk to Beat.

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. The theme for International Women's Day 2017 is #BeBoldForChange.

Among the academics at UWE Bristol are three women who have made great strides in fields traditionally dominated by men.

Assistive technologies researcher Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly was named the most inspirational woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in 2016 at the Red Women of the Year Awards.

She is an Associate Professor in Independent Living Systems at UWE Bristol, working in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, and head of electronics and computer systems for the UK assistive technology charity Designability. Her work focuses on developing technological solutions for people living with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Dr Catherine Hobbs, Head of the Department for Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol, has been a strong supporter of increasing women's representation in mathematics.

For the past 18 years she has worked for a sub-group she helped to establish called the Women in Mathematics Committee (WiM), linked to the London Mathematical Society (LMS). The group was established to raise the profile of women in mathematics, support women in the mathematics profession, improve practice in the mathematics community regarding gender diversity, and collect and disseminate data about women in mathematics.

Sanja Dogramadzi, a Professor at UWE Bristol, was last year named in RoboHub's annual '25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About' list.

She develops medical and assistive robots at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. Her research focuses on the multidisciplinary use of robotics technologies in healthcare settings. The academic has been awarded funding in excess of £2.5 million since 2009 and is currently supervising and managing a team of 15 post-doctoral and doctoral researchers and junior lecturers.

UWE Bristol is signed up to the 10 principles underpinning Athena SWAN, the gender equality charter mark. Among these are advancing gender equality for both women and men in fields where they are underrepresented, making structural and cultural changes, considering the intersection of gender and other protected characteristics, and tackling discrimination against trans people.

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