More women of outstanding achievement

So as promised my second blog post on the UKRC women of outstanding achievement awards.

In my last post I wrote about Athene Donald who won the lifetime achievement award, this time I want to tell you about a couple of the other great women who won awards. The other awards are for: Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Inspiration and Leadership; Tomorrow’s leader and for communicating SET to society.

Some of you may recognize Kate Bellingham, who won the communicating SET to society award, from the days when she presented Tomorrow’s World. She is now, amongst other things, the National STEM Careers Co-ordinator, like all the other women honoured with awards she does and has done many things. She has worked as an engineer and gained an MSc in electronics, she also trained and worked as a maths teacher. One of the really cool projects she works on now is the Bloodhound engineering adventure to break the land speed record. She is a patron of WISE (Women into science and engineering and construction) and has her own website about all the cool things she does here. Interestingly her A-levels were in maths, further maths, physics and music – she plays both the piano and the oboe.

Dervilla Mitchell won the award for inspiration and leadership in business and industry. She works for, and is a board member of, ARUP a firm of designers, planners and engineers. Dervilla led the team at ARUP who build Heathrow Terminal 5 and also worked on Portcullis House.

Rising to the top of an engineering firm whilst also having a family has made her an inspiration to many. What I think it is particularly inspiring is her work with ARUP’s diversity steering group and their inclusive leadership programme. She is a founding member of the diversity steering group and their aim is to create a working environment based on fairness, respect and merit: Isn’t that what we all want, regardless of our gender? The inclusive leadership programme is an initiative designed to tackle the unconscious bias that holds women back which I talked about briefly here and Athene Donald has also written about. She has also been instrumental in developing proposals for a mentoring programme, something which I feel could be used to very great effect in many different STEM industries and working environments. One of the common problems for women is a lack of confidence (Which occurs because of both the conscious and unconscious problems they face) and mentoring can be a powerful way to overcome this and help women progress in their careers.

The other 2011 winners were:

Cary Marsh for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Business and Industry

Professor Eileen Ingham for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Academia and Research

Professor Dame Ann Dowling for Inspiration and Leadership in Academia and Research

Dr Phebe Mann as Tomorrow’s Leader

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