The President Looks Back…

• Autumn 2011: First BFWG News in colour printed digitally on FSC certified paper. Flood damage to BFWG headquarters meant a newly carpeted office and meeting room, freshly decorated with new furniture, after a successful insurance claim. Thanks to Barbara Jackson. Westminster Seminar held on ‘Financial Literacy in Education’. BFWG backed the successful campaign to make personal finance a statutory part of the school curriculum.

• Spring 2012: BFWG has a leaflet to go with the new badges and LA programme inserts for recruitment. The new Membership database is up and running as a password protected sub-domain of the BFWG web space. Our grateful thanks go to Web Administrator, VP Sheila Stevens. This facilitates the dispatch of News by the printer straight to you, meaning an improved carbon footprint and increased efficiency.

• Summer 2012: AGM ‘Empowerment of Women and Girls—is Education the Key?’ Thanks to Norfolk & Norwich LA. BFWG General Resolution about ‘the adverse effect of the Government’s restrictive immigration policy on the continued quality and prosperity of our Universities’ research base’ is used to lobby Ministers and MPs.

• Autumn 2012: A Bioethics Study Day is organised by North Eastern Association, with backing from Northern Region. Thanks to Gill Ramsay for organising this event. One hundred years of giving scholarships to postgraduate women is celebrated at a symposium with space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin- Pocock and former awardees as speakers. Members raise funds for the Centennial Scholarship.

• Summer 2013: AGM at Denman College. Council confirms the revised Constitutional Documents. Thanks to Nest Overend and her team for many years’ work and to M Team for organising the AGM. International Meeting in Turkey: BFWG delegation is twelve plus two husbands. BFWG resolution on the right of Afghan women to an education to all levels is adopted.

• Autumn 2013: Westminster Seminar on ‘A Woman’s Right to Know’, the cross-cutting IFUW objective. Thanks to VP Gabrielle Suff for organising this and most of the National Programmes.

• Winter 2013-14: BFUW and BFWG archives were successfully transferred with the Women’s Library which transfers to LSE and which is now open to researchers – at long last. Thanks to VP Susan Miles on Archives. Early Career researchers Network, and others, have been established. With a positive outlook, BFWG can attract these vital young members with their welcome new ideas, helping to rekindle ‘the art of friendship’.

• Spring 2014: Professional help for a publicity trial begins in order to enhance the profile of BFWG to younger graduates via social media etc. BFWG already has good standing and rapport with many Baronesses: Ladies Vivienne Sterne, Margaret Sharp, Gillian Shephard, Sandip Verma and Jennifer Randerson to name a few. Over the years these women have listened to reasoned debate in our Seminars, enabling BFWG, as ever, to ‘punch above its weight’.

• Management Team and Executive Committee members work hard on your behalf ‘behind the scenes’ an iceberg effect – you only notice the one tenth above the surface. Particular thanks go to Senior VP Rory Haigh who, with administrative help from Sally Johnson, has collected all the subscriptions from LAs and Independent Members and sent welcome packs to new members. Numbers remain stable: a ‘dynamic equilibrium’ in my discipline, with ‘natural wastage’ balanced by fresh recruits. Thanks also to the many others who serve as Trustees for Scholarships and the Sybil Campbell Collection, giving many hours.

• Memorandum of Understanding is signed with the University of Chester to enable an Afghanistan graduate woman to undertake postgraduate studies. (See front page of News Spring 2014 and page 4)

• Chitra Ghosh, the IFUW Past President from India, has established a prize as a ‘thank you to IFUW for making my life Richer, Brighter, Happier’. When I step down this July after six years of continuous service – three years on the MT and three years as President (not to mention the three years in my forties as a VP) – I can say the same about BFWG.

Jenny Morley, President

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