Inspiring future women in Wales

20 April 2016

Dr Kelly Berube with her Womenspire Award
Dr Kelly Berube with her Womenspire Award

Professor Karen Holford and Dr Kelly Berube have been recognised at the inaugural Womenspire Awards for their commitment to equal opportunities and inspiring the next generation of women in Wales.

Professor Holford, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, won the ‘Woman in Education’ award for her efforts in ensuring everyone has the broadest opportunities available to enable them to go on to fulfilling employment careers.

Dr Kelly Berube, from the School of Biosciences, picked up the ‘Pioneer in STEM’ award, which acknowledged her work as a strong role model to women and girls and her commitment to promoting STEM as a career choice.

The Womenspire Awards recognise the remarkable contribution made by women across Welsh society and aims to inspire future generations of women to achieve and prosper.

The award categories reflected a wide variety of activities and encouraged applications from women of all ages and across all walks of life who are proud of what they are achieving, whether it’s in their private or professional lives or in the wider community.

Nominations were open to organisations and employers in the public, private and third sector who are committed to gender equality and providing the support and development required for their female colleagues to flourish.

The awards were presented at a ceremony on 14 April at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

On receiving the award, Professor Holford said: “I feel very privileged to be recognised among a list of extremely talented people who are doing so much to encourage and inspire the next generation of women in Wales.

“It is wonderful that my work in education has been acknowledged with this award, but the job is not finished and we all must do more to promote inclusivity to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of fulfilling their potential in schools, colleges, universities and beyond.”

Dr Kelly Berube said: “I feel exhilarated and privileged to have been recognised as a ‘Pioneer in STEM’ by the Chwarae Teg Womenspire Awards 2016. This award brings the immense satisfaction of knowing that my being a STEM Ambassador plays a hand in shaping our future female scientists.

“The award underscores the importance of having female role models in STEM fields that give girls someone to look up to. You can’t force an interest in STEM professions, but you can expose young women to them and see if anything ‘clicks and sticks’.  All in all, we women in STEM have a remarkable sphere of influence and together we can encourage and ‘inspire’ the next generation to follow in our footsteps.”