Historic female firsts captured on canvas

Today (5 March) the University of Leicester has recognised, on its walls and in its paintings, the contribution of three women who have, through their work and lives helped to create the University.

The University is built on the contribution of thousands of remarkable women and men, staff, students, alumni and contributors. The University has today unveiled three portraits of its women of influence painted by three talented female artists at an event attended by staff, students and invited guests. Marking this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March, the paintings are just a few of the inspirational stories of women working in universities and science that will be told this week to encourage staff and students to #pressforprogress in gender equality.

The chosen women all represent watershed moments for the University in its history: its first female Professor, Olive Banks; its first female graduate, Wendy Hickling; and the first black female President of its Students’ Union, Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith.

In 2017, working with colleagues from Attenborough Arts, the University commissioned the three portraits and received more than 50 applications from artists keen to be part of this historic change.

Read more about our women of influence and the artists who created their portraits in our press release.

Watch a video on the portraits:

Events at the University of Leicester to mark International Women’s Day will be taking place across the whole week from 5 – 9 March and will shine a light on the challenges that women face in all walks of life.  Through these events, the hope is that staff and students will come together to recognise gender inequalities that exist whilst celebrating the significant achievements of women. More information on International Women’s Day at University of Leicester: www.le.ac.uk/iwd