27 January 2022

Honorary Degree for Professor Pam Enderby

Emeritus Professor Pam Enderby will be made an honorary Doctor of Science from the University in Sheffield as part of the March graduation ceremony.

Pam Enderby

Professor Enderby is an emeritus professor of community rehabilitation and has worked tirelessly as qualified speech and language therapist specialising in therapy related research for over 40 years, with a special emphasis on measuring outcomes.

Professor Enderby said of her award: “One of the reasons for being tempted to move from the south-west of England where I had spent most of my childhood and early career was that of Sheffield University. Even three decades ago, the institution was demonstrating a strong commitment to interdisciplinary working. I knew that approach would lead to more cutting-edge ways of taking things forward in clinical application, teaching and research. I was proved right!! (That's not a phrase I use very often!). Working across the boundaries and working with such interesting didactics and supportive colleagues has been such a pleasure (most of the times!)”

Professor Enderby has had a distinguished career within the University, being in turn Chair of Community Rehabilitation, Head of the Department of Human Communication Sciences, and the first ever woman to serve as Dean of the University’s Faculty of Medicine. She has also found time to supervise 30 doctoral students, serve as principal investigator on 40 research projects, author 14 books, and publish over 250 journal articles.

Her career beyond the University has been equally illustrious: Pam established the Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit which she still co-directs, and has served as Chair of the College of Speech and Language Therapists and is currently President of the International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders amongst many other roles.

In 1986, she was the lead applicant in a legal challenge, arguing for equal pay for speech and language therapists. Senior speech therapists - predominantly women - received around 40% less pay than senior pharmacists or clinical psychologists – predominantly men at that time.

A seven-year legal battle followed and, despite defeat in the UK courts when the Government defended the challenge, Pam took her case to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg, which ruled in her favour in 1993. Eventually, after 15 years, Pam’s challenge led to a fundamental review, based on the principal of equal pay, with huge benefits for women dominated professions in the Health Service.

Pam has received many awards and honours over the years for her research and clinical contribution. These include Life Membership from the British Society for Rehabilitation Medicine, an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of the West of England, the Tavistock Award for Aphasia, Distinguished Scholar Award from the Society for Research in Rehabilitation and the Princess Margaret Award from the Stroke Association. An MBE in was awarded in 1984 and OBE in 2018 for her services to speech and language therapy.

Professor Enderby’s honorary graduation takes place on March 10th at 12.15pm

You can hear more about Professor Enderby’s long and distinguished career in the episode of Research Records which she recorded in 2021: Research Records #2 Professor Tony Ryan OBE Interviews Professor Pam Enderby MBE, OBE by Inspiration For Life