I hope you are all well and looking forward to spring, which is rapidly approaching. March sees us celebrate Women’s History Month, an opportunity for us all to reflect on women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements. As part of this we will be marking International Women’s Day (IWD) this Wednesday, 8 March. As DMU’s first woman Vice-Chancellor, International Women’s Day is really important to me.
IWD is important day in our annual calendar because it reminds me of all the women throughout history who fought for the rights that we currently have. It also allows us to reflect on where we need to focus our efforts in the future in order to continue their important work.
Our role in continuing that work is vital here at DMU and across the higher education sector, as we support our female leaders of the future to succeed. Throughout this month, we have a range of thought-provoking and exciting events for you to take part in. Some of the highlights include an online discussion on gender equality for a sustainable future, which will see a live link-up between our different worldwide campuses and partners, Asia Pacific University in Malaysia, DMU Kazakhstan, DMU Dubai in the UAE and DMU in the UK. There will also be an online mindfulness session and exhibitions elevating inspirational women creatives and profiling women from the DMU and DSU community, who each offer a different insight into womanhood, career opportunities, personal struggles and triumphs.
This year’s theme is ‘Embrace Equity’, inviting us to focus on the need for gender equity to be a part of every society’s DNA. Equity is something we should all think about, value and embrace as we strive to create an inclusive environment for all. You can download Embrace Equity selfie cards from the website and we would love to see your photos on social media on the day, so don’t forget to tag DMU.
I want to mention here just two of the remarkable women who are part of our DMU community and continue to break down barriers and inspire others. Bijna Dasani MBE, FRSA is an Executive Director at global investment bank Morgan Stanley, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from DMU in 2018, and graduated in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration from the university’s Business and Law Faculty. Through her leadership on more than a dozen committees, Bijna makes an impact worldwide with a focus on age, gender, ethnicity, race, LGBT, social mobility, mental health, domestic abuse, intersectionality and empowerment.
Also, Sian Green – an Arts, Design and Humanities graduate whose life was changed for ever when she lost her leg after an out-of-control taxi mounted the pavement and hit her while she was on a trip to New York in 2013. Sian resumed her studies in Fashion Buying here two months later. She is the subject of the film ‘No Fare: The Sian Green Story’ and also runs the Sian Green Foundation, which provides specialist support for amputees across the United Kingdom.
There are lots of ways you can celebrate IWD 2023, not only by joining the events on campus but by having conversations with fellow students and educating yourself on embracing gender equity.
Katie Normington, Vice-Chancellor, DMU
Posted on Monday 6th March 2023