The 2014-15 Julia Higgins Medal and Awards were presented to staff this week, in recognition of their contribution to the support of academic women.
Dr Liz Elvidge, Head of the Postdoc Development Centre, was awarded this year’s Julia Higgins Medal in recognition of her work with female postdocs and early career academics. This has included supporting the Athena SWAN work in the Department of Chemistry (awarded Gold in 2013) and running the Springboard women’s development programme, as well as acting as a mentor and source of support to many academic women.
Part of what I do is supporting women to put themselves in the strongest possible position for grant and job applications, helping them think about how they present themselves.
– Dr Liz Elvidge
Talking about her work, Dr Elvidge said: “I’ve been committed to supporting women for a very long time. The women academics here at Imperial are very talented, but they need to be supported in different ways.
"Part of what I do is supporting women to put themselves in the strongest possible position for grant and job applications, helping them think about how they present themselves. I can spot the gender of a CV in two seconds – women can write too hesitantly, for example describing themselves as ‘competent’ where an equally qualified man would use ‘expert’.”
Professor Higgins attended the event, which saw Professor James Stirling, Imperial’s Provost, and Professor Dot Griffiths, Provost’s Envoy for Gender Equality, presenting the awards.
Professor Stirling said: “The Julia Higgins Medal and Awards offer us an important opportunity to take a step back and recognise the work of staff across the College in this important area. Gender equality is a key priority for me, and I would like to congratulate and thank all our award-winners for their contributions.”
Gender equality is a key priority for me, and I would like to congratulate and thank all our award-winners for their contributions
– Professor James Stirling
Dr Elvidge has also played a key role on many Athena SWAN committees across the College. This week’s event also provided an opportunity to celebrate the College’s recent Athena SWAN successes, which saw the Department of Bioengineering receiving its first Bronze Award.
Two departments were also successful in renewing their Athena SWAN awards, with the Department of Life Sciences receiving a renewed Bronze award and the Department of Physics a renewed Silver award.
The Julia Higgins medal and awards recognise individuals and departments that have made a significant contribution to the support of academic women at the College. They are named in honour of Professor Dame Julia Higgins, now a Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Chemical Engineering and previously Dean of the City and Guilds College and Principal of the Faculty of Engineering.
2014-15 Julia Higgins Medal and Awards
Dr Liz Elvidge, Head of the Postdoc Development Centre
- Dr Karen Makuch, Academic Women’s Ambassador for the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Lecturer in Environmental Law, Centre for Environmental Policy
- Ms Su Nandy, Senior HR Manager, Faculty of Engineering
- Dr Lesley Rushton, Reader in Occupational Epidemiology, School of Public Health
- Dr Vicky Salem, Academic Women’s Ambassador for the Department of Medicine and NIHR Clinical Lecturer, Department of Medicine
- Dr Emma Watson, Department Operations Manager, Department of Earth Science & Engineering
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