University building to be named after first female professor

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle has announced that a building at the University is to be named after its first female professor.

Speaking at the the inaugural UN Women’s HeForShe #GetFree Tour,  Professor Boyle said the building, Manorcroft at Oadby Student Village, would be named after sociologist Professor Olive Banks.

Olive Banks (1923-2006) (pictured right) was the first female professor at the University of Leicester. She was awarded a personal Chair in 1973 in the field of Sociology of Education and remained at Leicester until 1982. On her retirement in 1982 she remained the only female professor at Leicester.

The HeForShe GetFree Tour is an innovative new effort, bringing a global conversation on gender equality to young people around the world. The GetFree Tour will enable students to express themselves and explore their own understanding of gender issues, empowering them to take a lead in advancing equality in their environments and communities.

Starting from the University of Leicester, the HeForShe GetFree Tour is visiting six universities in the U.K. and France: University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Leicester, the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Nottingham, University College of London, and the Paris Institute of Political Science (Institut d'études politiques de Paris) respectively.

The University of Leicester and the Paris Institute of Political Science are part of HeForShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10 programme, which engages ten leaders across three sectors to drive systemic change:

  • The Department of Sociology will be hosting a symposium on the work of Olive Banks on the 14th January 2016 to explore the lasting legacy of her work.