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University names final three in Inspirational Woman award – University of Reading

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University names final three in Inspirational Woman award

Release Date 19 April 2018

The finalists in the 2018 Venus Awards celebrate at Newbury Racecourse

One of a trio of incredible Thames Valley women will win this year’s Inspirational Woman award, after the University of Reading announced its 2018 Santander Venus Awards finalists.

The final three in the University’s sponsored category were whittled down from 39 entries, and named at a Newbury Racecourse event on Tuesday 17th April.

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers; Anna Sampson, general manager of Boomerang Creative; and Julianne Ponan, who runs Creative Nature, will contest the 2018 prize after impressing a panel of judges with their achievements.

Read more about this year’s finalists

Professor Ellie Highwood, the University of Reading’s Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, said: “Picking our three finalists was incredibly tough, as each of the five women on our shortlist deserves great praise for their inspirational qualities. Through their achievements, they have had a direct, positive impact on people’s lives and helped others to reach their potential.”

The University of Reading returned this year as a sponsor of one of the 12 categories in the Thames Valley Venus Awards. The regional initiative seeks to recognise the contribution of women in business to the local, regional and national economy.

Gerry LeJeune OBE, chief executive of Berkshire Community Foundation; and Meryll Praill, who set up Newbury Soup Kitchen, missed out after being named as semi-finalists in the Inspirational Women category in March.

The winners in all 12 categories of this year’s Venus Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Madejski Stadium on 8 June.

The University of Reading promotes gender equality through initiatives like the Edith Morley Lecture – named after England’s first female professor, who was appointed by Reading in 1908. The University has been recognised for its work increasing career development opportunities for female scientists and promoting diversity in key positions, and recently appointed its first ever job-share members to the University Executive Board, allowing flexible working at board level.

The University has many high-profile graduates, including polar explorer Felicity Aston and Olympic gold-medallist Anna Watkins. Meet seven incredible Reading graduates here.

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