Inspirational women honoured at University

The fantastic achievements of inspirational women are being celebrated at the University of Sheffield with an exhibition of portraits set to travel throughout the University campus over the next year.

Aarti Bansal with her portraitNominations were called for over summer 2012 for women with inspirational life stories and achievements to be celebrated, as so many male counterparts have historically been, with specially commissioned portraits to be displayed in pride of place around the University.

Rosie Valerio, former HR Director at the University of Sheffield, chose her retirement gift fund to be spent on the exhibition, to contribute to her legacy of a career that has significantly improved working life for women.

Thirty women were chosen to have a professional photo portrait taken by leading fine art photographer Anton Want. Anton’s work includes Pit Profiles, a series of portraits of miners currently touring nationally for the National Coalmining Museum, and Ambition, an exhibition focusing on ambition amongst young women in Sheffield.

The portraits will hang in the University’s Firth Hall before visiting different locations throughout campus and will culminate in one woman being selected to have a professional portrait painted and permanently displayed in Firth Hall.

Rosie Valerio said: “This University is about people, including those rarely or never seen in the limelight. This project is about addressing the representation of women.”

Of the winning subjects, Rosie said: “You have clearly made an impression and will continue to do so through these stunning photos, they are the beginning of a movement to celebrate those who are not always visible.”

At the recent opening of the exhibition, Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “I find it quite moving. I’ve never seen anything like this, there’s almost a tingle in the back of my neck. I’m seeing people in a different light and it’s quite emotional.”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK´s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen´s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom´s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.

The University´s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.


For further information please contact:
Amy Stone
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046