International Women's Day 2021 #ChooseToChallenge

Posted in: Gender

This year's official International Women's Day theme (2021) is #ChooseToChallenge. It's a call-to-action to challenge the status quo by raising awareness against bias, celebrating women's achievements, and taking action for equality.

As Head of Education, Diversity and Inclusion, I am proud to highlight the work of so many brilliant colleagues and students across the University on International Women’s Day.

There is a huge range of events that you can get involved with on Monday 8th March and throughout the following gender equity week. Links to recordings will also be added if you wanted to catch up on any events or talks at your own time.

These include:

  • Artwork: The celebration of Women Early Career Researchers. The ED&I team has worked with Researcher Development Manager Amy Birch to highlight our talented women in the Early Career Researchers (ECR's) Community.
  • Interview: "Our Athena Swan Silver Journey so far: collaboration, aspirations and next steps." an interview with our Athena Swan leader Dr. Marion Harney by Aiste Senulyte.
  • Guide: In collaboration with the Department of Education, this fascinating self-learning guide on 'Gender differences in promotable vs non-promotable tasks' has been pulled together, which we eagerly encourage you to read. It sheds light on the hidden anxiety, stress, and emotional burden that women often have to take on without any recognition.
  • Lecture: This year the Athena Swan lecture was delivered on the 11th of March by the brilliant Professor Vanita Sundaram from the University of York and  focussed on sexual harassment at University. You can find the recording here.
  • #EpicTalks: As part of our ongoing external partnerships, George Brown gave an #EpicTalk for Wiltshire Council on "Being a Game Changer: Our Shared Responsibility."  You can watch the recording if you missed the live session on 8th March.
  • Men as Allies: As part of IWD events, Debbie Janson gave a very thought provoking talk in Department of Mechanical Engineering, entitled Women in Academia – Men as Allies. A recording of the seminar is available here.
  • Talk: "Ballroom Dancing or International Science Diplomat? The Career Choices of a Physicist!" our Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion George Brown interviews Professor Carole Mundell about her career. This will be taking place at 13:45hrs on Monday 8th March, so there might be a bit of time left to register, if not the video will be shared on this blog and the Department of Physics blog.

Across the University departments have been keen to mark the day and raise awareness of how we can achieve true gender equity.

  • School of Management’s Athena SWAN Seminar: Celebrating International Women's Day 2021 (#ChooseToChallenge). Title of the seminar: "Why feminist ethics of care are more important than ever". By Professor Marianna Fotaki, Professor of Business Ethics, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick. Time: Monday 8th March at 11:00-12:30. Sign up by emailing
  • Bath Women in Maths Conference. A two-day event showcasing the different career paths women have taken in maths across academia and industry. Time: 17th-18th March. For more information and registration. Bath Women in Maths Conference website will be able to tell you more.
  • Dr. Adalgisa Giorgio from the Department of Politics and International Relations is giving a lecture at the University of Virginia (USA) on Monday 8th March, Time: 21.00 (UK time). Title: "Reading Elena Ferrante's Novels with the grain:  the view of a female academic from Southern Italy". The lecture is part of the Seminar series: "The Sirens Project: Women's Voices in Literature and the Visual Arts", University of Virginia. Zoom Link: Meeting ID: 92562470745  Passcode:  245277
  • Department of Politics and International Relations is also organising an internal informal event for the research cluster for Gender and Sexuality. It will include a crafting activity and a short talk. More info available via Hilde Coffe.
  • School of Management EMBA Candidate Ouida Duncan, will be doing an EDI blog take-over later this week with her thoughts on choosing to challenge inequality, call out biases, question stereotypes, and help to forge an inclusive world.
  • Department of Psychology has joined in with the national #ChooseToChallenge campaign and created a video to demonstrate their commitment to challenging bias.

A simple way that you can join in and celebrate is to show your commitment to challenging inequality by taking part in the #ChooseToChallenge social media campaign. Simply take a photo of yourself raising your hand high and share it on your preferred social media platforms using #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021.

The Student Union has been busy organising events, these include:

  • Yoga International Women’s Day Social - this active group is going to have a social on Monday 8th March at 19:00hrs. There will be a quiz about some fantastic women and all the amazing things that they have achieved but there'll also be time to just have a chat!
  • The University of Bath Feminism and Gender Equality Society is hosting a panel discussion on Monday 8th March at 18:00hrs. Panelists will include Carla Cushinie - Founder of Kyoko Clothing, and Gemma Barnett - Former Feminism and Gender Equality Society Chair. Feminism and Gender Equality register for this event and you will also be treated with an artwork display by female artists.

There are also lots of virtual events happening around the country IWD UK events hopefully will provide something for everyone.


If you want to get involved in celebrating diversity and creating an inclusive workplace, please email us at it is our shared responsibility to enable change and ensure we can all thrive at Bath.

Posted in: Gender


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