As part of our celebrations for International Women’s Day, all this month we will be sharing stories from fantastic #WomenofSUSU on our Facebook page. You can also read through their stories below –  we will be adding new ones all throughout March.

This evening, our Postgraduate Committee are hosting a panel talk featuring inspiring women from the Union and the University, to speak about struggles they’ve faced and achievements they have accomplished. The panel will take place in The Bridge at 18:30; you can find out more on the Facebook event: IWD: Celebrating the amazing women from our University

Priya Shukla, Spaceflight Society President

“Before coming to University, I would never have thought I’d be in this position. I’ve gone from attending an all-girls school for most of my life, to suddenly being in lectures of almost 90% men, to joining a society where I was the only woman. And now, here I am, leading this same society. It makes sense then that I want to inspire more women to join us, but also inspire the next generation of female scientists. I want girls in schools now to feel like they can make the choice to do STEM subjects without it being considered controversial, or out of the ordinary like it was for me. That’s why we run workshops where school kids come build and launch model rockets which I still find super cool. And, of course, we run all kinds of space related projects for our members too.

In my time as President, I have seen some amazing projects start and, importantly, the number of female members triple, which sounds great, except this does translate as a grand total of three women – so we’re one short of a quiz team! It does say something though, that in all of Spaceflight Society’s history, there have been more female presidents than male. It’s nice to know that I follow in the footsteps of some brilliant women who helped me believe that I could do this role and do it well.”

Ros Frayard-Smith, NurSoc President

“I never saw myself as a leader when I was younger; making my voice heard and standing apart from the crowd was difficult for me. But in my time here at the University, I have grown in confidence thanks largely to the inspirational female leaders I have had the privilege of being surrounded by. Being elected the inaugural President of NurSoc is one of my proudest achievements, giving me a platform to show other young women you don’t always have to be the most self-assured and outgoing person to succeed in leadership.”

Kiana Mostaghimi, Mind Society President

“The Baha’i faith teaches that men and women are like the two wings of one bird, and to make progress in its flight, the bird needs both wings to be fully developed. The progress of women in societal positions has been incredible recently, and I feel that we have a duty in continuing to inspire the new generation of young women to carry on showing the world their potential!

In my role as president of Mind Society I have seen how much easier women find it to speak about their mental health, whereas many men unfortunately mistake this vulnerability for weakness. So they tend to shy away from the topic. I hope that this traditionally “feminine” characteristic of being emotional can envelop the hearts of everyone, so that we can all learn better coping and sharing strategies about our mental health and become closer as humans. Go forth sisters!”

Sophie Onn (Tap Dance President), Chloe Taylor (Contemporary Dance President) and Eleanor Ruck (Jazz Dance President)

“Women in leadership mark a positive change in society, which hopefully inspires and empowers others globally. We went for the roles of President in Contemporary, Jazz and Tap Dance because we wanted to become more involved in the societies we love and to work together with our committees to make our ideas become a reality. It is important in our roles to be adaptable, approachable and to have the ability to take control when needed. We are currently working towards our annual show, Pure Dance 2018! by perfecting our class routines, coordinating the costumes and managing payments.”



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