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International Women’s Day 2018:

How we are changing the world

For International Women's Day 2018 and throughout the month of March we are celebrating the academics and alumni from this University who are changing the world for the better. This is just a small showcase of the many talented women who make up our staff, student and alumni body.

Our academics are changing the world

Dr Shelley Cobb
Dr Shelley Cobb led a study showing that women remain dramatically under-represented in the British film industry.

Dr Shelley Cobb

Dr Cobb has just published research which shows how under-represented women are in the British film-making industry. About her research findings Dr Cobb says: “This data shows very clearly that there is no long-term improvement of gender equality in the British film industry, despite training schemes, funding rules, or best practice statements."

Across 3,452 films in production in the UK between 2003 and 2015, the research found that only 14 per cent of all directors and seven per cent of all cinematographers were women.

Find out more about our research on women in film-making.


Meet more of our academics

Dr Kathryn Woods-Townsend

Dr Kathryn Woods-Townsend

Dr Woods-Townsend has just been appointed to the board of an influential children’s health body, UK active. This body aims to improve the lives of children across the UK.

Professor Maria Stokes, OBE, assessing a patient

Professor Maria Stokes, OBE

Professor Stokes explores the similarities between muscle weakness in astronauts and muscle weakness in patients on Earth. Professor Stokes was awarded an OBE in 2018 for her services to physiotherapy.

Professor Elena Simperl

Professor Elena Simperl

Professor Elena Simperl is part of an international consortium making online transactions more secure by studying how blocks of information are distributed across a network.

Professor Ling Wang

Professor Ling Wang

Professor Ling is using Tribology, the science of all interacting surfaces in relative motion, to improve the performance of renewable energies, such as wind turbines.

Professor Shirli Gilbert

Professor Shirli Gilbert

Professor Gilbert has collected over 350 recordings of music and song, documenting experience of the Holocaust. These are now available on an educational website.

Dr Jana Kreppner

Dr Jana Kreppner

Dr Kreppner led a groundbreaking study which has revealed the lasting impact of profound deprivation during early childhood, which could help to inform policy and practice in the future.

Professor Freda Stevenson

Professor Freda Stevenson

Professor Freda Stevenson has been at the forefront of cancer immunology research at the University for over 40 years. She has led, shaped and continues to pioneer ground-breaking research.

Dr Judith Holloway

Dr Judith Holloway

Dr Holloway, Associate Professor within Medicine and Programme Director of the MSc Allergy course, was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2017 for her work improving the outcomes of people with allergies.

Dr Helen Reese

Dr Helen Rees

Dr Rees has been appointed President of the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine. Dr Rees first encountered the CFPM when she worked in Canada on her University of Southampton placement.   

Professor Diana Eccles

Professor Diana Eccles

Professor Eccles led the world's largest study looking at breast cancer survival rates of women with the BRCA gene mutation.


Our Alumni are changing the world

Satvir Kaur
Satvir Kaur, leading local councillor

Satvir Kaur

Satvir Kaur is a leading local councillor here in Southampton.

"It was a massive battle for me to go to university, for many traditional cultural reasons. My sisters and I were the first girls to actually go from my community and I could only go if I stayed living at home in Southampton where I was born and raised. The University was right on my doorstep but also had a great reputation for studying.....One of the modules on my degree was called 'The Making of Englishness', an area examining national identity that I champion politically at local and national level......The seeds of my interest in that area came from my time at the University of Southampton."

Find out more about how Satvir 'accidentally' got into politics and how she continues to champion diversity.

Meet more of our alumni

Katie McDonnell freejumping

Katie McDonnell, freerunner

Katie is one of the world's leading female freerunners, working on large, blockbuster movies and life-changing documentaries. She was a finalist in Ninja Warrior UK.

Claire Gott

Claire Gott, MBE

Claire was awarded an MBE (2018) for starting the charity Cameroon Catalyst. She founded the charity whilst in her final year at Southampton and now runs it alongside her work in an engineering consultancy.

Andrea Byrne

Andrea Byrne, TV newsreader

Andrea is the face of ITV News in Wales. She says the best part of her job is the privilege of people letting her into their lives to hear their stories – stories which are often very personal and emotional.


How we are encouraging the next generation....

Our outreach teams are busy across the South-East encouraging girls and young women to take an interest in higher education and particularly in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

We work with local girl guiding groups on a STEM badge programme, our Women in Science and Engineering Network runs regular outreach events and we attend regional events such as the Women into Digital Industries Fair. 

Year 9 girls at Dragonfly Day

Year 9 girls STEM event

Every year we run Dragonfly Days here on campus, encouraging Year 9 girls to get excited about science, maths and engineering.

More about Dragonfly Days

Join the conversation

Women sitting on the lawn on campus

Connect with us on Twitter

Join the conversation on Twitter using #UoSwomen.

Join the conversation

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