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Thank you for your interest in our Inspiring Women Lecture Series. I am passionate about equality in all its forms and developed this Series to initially provide a platform of support and inspiration for female staff and students at the University of the West of Scotland. Since its launch in 2013, the programme has grown and developed to become a unique brand within the organisation. Having hosted over 25 speakers across many events, it has become hugely successful, has been shortlisted for awards and is now recognised well beyond the boundaries of UWS. I am very proud of its positive and enabling impact and would encourage you to attend - and be inspired so that you too can inspire others!
UWS’s Professor Craig Mahoney | Principal & Vice Chancellor | University of the West of Scotland Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, UWS

The Inspiring Women lecture series forms part of the commitment to staff and students alike to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in higher education and research.  

UWS has 4 Scottish Campuses, and one in London. We have some 17,000 students (c.60% female) and  some 1,500 staff (c.55% female). In addition, a high percentage of our students are 'first in family' to achieve their degree, and we have a proud tradition of embracing the widening access ethos, helping to break down the barriers to education that can seem so entrenched when coming from a SIMD20/40 background.  

The Inspiring Women Lecture Series was developed to provide an opportunity for staff, students and members of the public to hear from women who have been successful within their field, be that within science, arts, humanities, business or other areas. The diverse range of speakers has encouraged engagement and discussion, and the series is now a regular and important feature in the University events calendar.


Jilli Blackwood

Jilli Blackwood

Textile Designer & Artist

the Inspiring Women event was a unique opportunity to celebrate the textile industry within Renfrewshire, to shout about the women who made it successful, and to explore the skills and expertise still within the industry. UWS have enabled discussion and generated conversation which continues to promote and indeed inspire women of all ages. It was fantastic to be a part of such a fun and creative day.

Lecture Series Sponsor

akp Scotland Limited is the proud sponsor of the 2018/19 UWS Inspiring Women Lecture Series.

For nearly 30 years akp, as a principal contractor with ‘Building Pride’ at its heart, has helped transform lives through innovative fit out and refurbishment and spectacular new build.

Our role in the delivery of UWS’s game changing £110m new Lanarkshire campus is only one example of the skill and talent found in akp.

This year akp were announced as winner of the Fit Out of Workplace category at the 2018 British Council for Offices Regional Awards and are a contender for a National Award.

Visit our website for more information about akp Scotland Limited or to get in touch to explore how we can help with your project.

Visit akp website

Forthcoming lectures

There are a number of planned lectures as part of the Inspiring Women Lecture Series (#UWSInspiringWomen). Details of these for 2018-19 are below:

November 2018

Monday  26 November 2018 – Shona McCarthy – CEO of Edinburgh International Fringe Festival

Edinburgh is famous for its Castle, its Royal Mile and the world’s biggest annual arts event – the Fringe Festival.  As CEO of this world renowned cultural behemoth Shona McCarthy brings an exceptional breadth of experience in the cultural sector and an understanding of the transformative power art can have on people.  


February 2019

Wednesday 13 February 2019 – Professor Sheila Rowan – Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland

As Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Professor Rowan is responsible for informing policy development to benefit the economy, people and environment of Scotland.  Sheila works closely various bodies to advise the Scottish Government across all areas of its work.


June 2019

Wednesday 5 June 2019 – Celebration Event

Join us for our annual Inspiring Women Celebration Event.  Details to follow.


Previous Inspiring Women Lectures

Our Inspiring Women are a vibrant and varied range of speakers. View the list of speakers that have participated in our series and use the links to check our our YouTube playlist:

Inspiring Women 2018

  • Jilli Blackwood, (27th September 2018)
  • Vicky Gumly (Celebration Event 17th May 2018)
  • Ann Moulds (Celebration Event 17th  May 2018)
  • Corinne Hutton (Celebration Event 17th May 2018)
  • Brenda Grimes (21st February 2018)


View Inspiring Women YouTube Playlist

Inspiring Women 2017

  • Professor Shan Wareing - (Celebratory Event June 2017)
  • Rebecca Stinson - (Celebratory Event June 2017)
  • Poonam Gupta OBE - (Celebratory Event June 2017)
  • Baroness Nosheena Mobarik CBE (March 2017)
  • Baroness Sue Campbell CBE (January 2017)


View Inspiring Women YouTube Playlist

Inspiring Women 2016

  • Amina Nabi (October 2016)
  • Dominika Zurawska (August  2016)
  • Professor Jean Rankin (Celebratory Event June 2016)
  • Alisoun Mackenzie (Celebratory Event June 2016)
  • Dr Waiyin Hatton (Celebratory Event June 2016)
  • Professor Lesley Yellowless CBE (February 2016)


View Inspiring Women YouTube Playlist

Inspiring Women 2015

  • Professor Barbara Parfitt CBE (October 2015)
  • Coreen McCubbin – Celebratory Event June 2015
  • Liz Cameron OBE – Celebratory Event June 2015
  • Gillian Berrie –Celebratory Event June 2015
  • Dame Barbara Kelly DBE (May D2BD Festival)
  • Becci Wallace (May 2015 D2BD Festival)
  • Elaine C Smith (May 2015 D2BD Festival)
  • Liz Bingham OBE (April 2015)


View Inspiring Women YouTube Playlist

Inspiring Women 2014

  • Suzie Sharpe (September 2014)
  • Lia Ditton (November 2014)
  • Isobel Rutter (June 2014)
  • Abi Player (May and December 2014)


View Inspiring Women YouTube Playlist

Inspiring Women Lecture Series Nomination Form

University of the West of Scotland PDF Download Icon | UWS

If you have a suggestion for a future Inspiring Women / UWS Inspires event please complete this short proforma and return to the email address provided.

Download Nomination Form (.docx)
Last updated: 21/08/2018