In recognition of International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March, the Faculty ran a competition for students. We asked them to write about a woman who has inspired them, in their education, work or personal life, and why the person they were nominating should be our ‘most inspirational woman’ of 2017.
We are pleased to announce Hannah Butler, a Postgraduate Diploma in Children’s Nursing student, as the winner. The two runners up are BSc adult nursing students, Kiran Shukla and Faith Carmichael.
Hannah wrote about how her mum inspired her to follow in her footsteps and pursue nursing as a career. Here is her entry:
“I am inspired by my mum, Kate. I followed her footsteps into nursing 50 years after she trained at King’s College Hospital. As a student, she met Dame Cecily Saunders, who was setting up St Christopher’s Hospice at the time, and found her vision inspiring. Mum is the kind of nurse I hope to become; deeply empathic, compassionate, a strong advocate for quality care for her patients and staff looking after them. An early graduate of the Open University, she moved from acute medicine to become a District Nurse. It was at this point that Cecily’s vision, the Open University’s questioning approach and care in the community came together to influence the rest of her career. She had senior leadership roles in the NHS and Voluntary Sector and throughout her career has gone back to the floor, caring for patients and their families, knowing that there is nowhere better to learn about the reality of the Board’s plans. Often initially underestimated (the secret to her success?), she sets about her work without noise and grandstanding, always with a smile, and has incredible clarity of vision and tenacity. I don’t know anyone more effective at achieving positive change.”
Kiran Shukla nominated Margaret Sanger, an American birth control activist, educator, writer and nurse who opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. Here is part of her entry:
“I am nominating Margaret Sanger because she risked her life and career in order to ensure women all over the world have pregnancies that are in their control. Sanger founded Planned Parenthood, using the heartache and distress from her mother’s premature death due to excessive pregnancies to liberate women by advocating for their right to birth control… Sanger dedicated her life to protecting and supporting women, and I think it is only fair we thank her with a gesture of gratitude.”
Faith Carmichael nominated her personal tutor. Here is part of her entry:
“I would like to nominate my personal tutor and cohort lead Nicola Davis for being the most inspirational woman. Nikki has always supported me since day one of my nursing degree… I think any nursing student would be blessed to have someone like Nikki to learn from to become the best nurse you can be.”
This competition was sponsored by the Athena SWAN working group of the Faculty. Athena SWAN encourages and recognises commitment by advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research. It also works to recognise efforts to address gender equality more broadly.