Receiving my Damehood - Professor Emerita Dame Teresa Rees DBE FAcSS FLSW
28 August 2015
Professor Teresa Rees was awarded a Damehood for services to Social Sciences in the 2015 New Years Honours. In July she was invited to Windsor Castle to receive the accolade from the Queen. Here she shares her experience with us.
"I was very surprised and delighted to be made a Dame in the 2015 New Year Honours. This was for services to the social sciences, which are not as well recognised in the awards system (or in my mind, by people in general) for what they do.
My work has been focussed on developing research for evidence based policy, in particular in gender equality in education, training and the labour market for the European Commission and some of the Member States, for work on women and science and how to improve the quality of science by paying attention to gender and equal pay. I have also led Commissions of Inquiry on higher education and student funding in Wales and served on various research funding bodies. However, I would not single myself out above my many excellent colleagues in Cardiff University for contribution to the social sciences.
Some years ago, I had lunch with Her Majesty the Queen in Buckingham Palace, along with about five other guests (a senior fire fighter, editor of respectable newspaper, Lord Chief Justice, actress, bishop). Her Majesty said that she’d heard I was a real expert on this ‘gender mainstreaming malarkey’ (or words to that effect) and she’d be very grateful if I’d tell her all about it. Which I did. At some length.
Well, I was delighted when a few years later when the law was changed to allow the line of the throne to go through females well as males - gender mainstreaming reaches the monarchy! I take full credit for this – a real ‘impact’!
So, when last month I was invited to go to Windsor Castle to be made a Dame, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of saying to Her Majesty how pleased I was that this had happened. (There is still unfinished business here though. The husbands of Dames receive no title whereas wives of Knights automatically become Ladies. Now we have gay marriages, we shall see how this gender discrimination combines with sexuality discrimination. I have written to Stonewall about this!).
I received the honour for services to social sciences, having previously received a CBE for services to higher education and equal opportunities in 2002. The CBE investiture took place in the Committee Rooms in the Glamorgan Building, where I thanked Prince Charles for coming to my workplace. I imagine the DBE was for long hours (and, I like to think critical contributions to strategic thinking and policy) in the Economic and Social Research Council, Academy of Social Sciences, Learned Society of Wales, Higher Education Funding Councils for both England and Wales, various funding bodies, Government Departments, European Commission and indeed a senior leadership role in Cardiff University. All went well, and I was delighted to see Rosie Moriarty, whom I had taught years ago, receiving her MBE.
Afterwards, my brother, son, daughter in law (Victoria Rees – who now works in the University, in Careers) and I had lunch in Heston Blumenthal’s pub in Bray, which was brilliant. Heston (known to my brother) laid on champagne. We all agreed it was the best meal we had ever had in our entire lives – highly recommended to whoever becomes the second Cardiff University Dame.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to colleagues and friends for your congratulations (slightly outnumbered by all the highly amusing ‘Nothing like a Dame’ videos, references to pantomines etc. I bet Knights don’t get quite as much teasing as I have)!"