Jun 222021
 

North Edinburgh Arts, EH4 4TZ

Portrait of Natalie Duffield with a background referencing binary code, wifi, and circut boards on the wall of North Edinburgh Arts
Natalie Duffield by Shona Hardie; image by Ian Georgeson Photography

When she was just 13, Natalie Duffield decided that she didn’t want to go to university but instead wanted to work. She began her career in IT in temporary, junior roles but convinced her bosses to give her a start in sales, a traditionally male-dominated field. It took time, but Natalie developed a successful career in IT sales and then went on to become the CEO of InTechnology SmartCitie, which provides free WiFi in central Edinburgh. Now Natalie is championing digital innovation whilst inspiring young women to follow non-traditional careers. Natalie wants to see more courses that are attractive to women, a work culture that assumes women can learn technology, and for all women to know that they can train for any role.

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Jun 222021
 

Lothian Street, EH1 1HB

Black and white portrait of Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon against a colorful background mounted along a brick wall
Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon by Shona Hardie; image by Chris Scott Photography

(No longer on display) Dr. Anna-Marie Imafidon is the very definition of a prodigy. At just 11 years old, she became the youngest ever girl to complete an A-level in computing and she graduated from Oxford with a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science when she was 20. In 2017, Anne-Marie was awarded an MBE for services to young women and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors. She is the co-founder of Stemettes, an award-winning organisation dedicated to inspiring and supporting young women and non-binary people into STEM careers. Their vision is for women to be proportionately represented in the field and to help all girls make informed decisions about their opportunities. Over the last eight years, Stemettes has delivered free events and workshops to over 45,000 young people across the UK and Ireland.

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Jun 222021
 

Summerhall, EH9 1PL

Black and white portrait of Zarina Ahmed against a bright, tropical background
Zarina Ahmad by Shona Hardie; image by Chris Scott Photography

(No longer on display) After being told that “minorities are not interested in climate change,” Zarina Ahmad became dedicated to increasing participation and improving funding access for under-represented groups. Zarina proved that the issue wasn’t a lack of interest from minorities groups but rather a lack of awareness of the funding available for enthusiastic activists. As a result, she worked with the Scottish government to ensure targets for working with the minority sector on administering the Climate Change Fund (CCF), a fund to support community-led organisations to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions. By advocating for climate justice and race equality, and giving a voice to minorities, her work has led to over 140 successful applications to the CCF. By highlighting the need for women as well as people of all backgrounds and faiths to be involved in environmental world, Zarina is helping to bring forward climate justice for all people across Scotland.

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Jun 222019
 

Colin MacLaurin Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3DW

Black and white photograph of Mary Brück looking through a telescope

Mary Brück

This building at the University of Edinburgh Kings Buildings science campus honours the astronomer and historian of science Mary Brück (1925-2008), who graduated with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1950. She returned in 1962 with the appointment of her husband, Hermann Brück, to the post of the Astronomer Royal for Scotland at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. She carried out research into stars, the gas and dust between stars and the Magellanic Clouds, while also doing historical research on women in astronomy and the history of astronomy in Scotland and her native Ireland. She published articles in several different journals and collaborated with her husband on a biography of the 19th-century Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smyth. In 2018, the Mary Brück building was opened on Colin MacLaurin Road, itself dedicated to an 18th century champion of Astronomy in Edinburgh (whose memorial is visited as stop number 13 of this tour).

Find out more

Mary Brück Building and Brucks’ Cafe

Mary Brück Building and Brucks’ Cafe

Images credit: The University of Edinburgh / Royal Observatory Edinburgh

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Apr 032019
 

219 High Street today

219 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PE

On this site, in 1904, Dr Elsie Inglis opened a hospital for women and children, known as The Hospice, and run only by women. Dr Inglis began her study of medicine in 1886, not long after women were first allowed to study the subject, at the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women, under the tutelage of Dr Sophia Jex-Blake. While at the School, Elsie helped found the Scottish Association for the Medical Education for Women. As well as being a pioneer in maternal care and a prominent suffragist, Elsie sat on the governing board of the Edinburgh Charities Organisations Council, under which name the Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor was then known, and organised a series of lectures for health visitors and also for mothers. When the First World War was declared in 1914, Elsie was almost 50 and unwell. She offered her services as a surgeon to the War Office only to be told ‘my good lady, go home and sit still.’ Dr Inglis refused to sit still, however, and instead came up with the idea for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, which went out to France as well as to Serbia to help the soldiers there. In 1916, Inglis become the first woman to receive the Order of the White Eagle, the highest honour Serbia could bestow.

219 High Street today

Plaques on wall at 219 High Street

The Hospice in the High Street – from Elsie Inglis by Eva Shaw McLaren, 1920

Portrait of Dr Elsie Inglis

Photo credits: Lucy Ridley, Ema Smekalova, The History Company, Wellcome Collection

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Apr 032019
 

5 Roxburgh Place today

5 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU

In 1871, Flora Stevenson opened a Sewing Room here for five months of the year during winter to allow women the same chance the men had at the Firelighter Factory to prove the genuineness of their applications for relief and their willingness to work. The women worked for a small wage (three halfpence per hour) which was paid in the form of provisions or clothing. Their work in the Sewing Room helped many to go on to find more permanent employment as cleaners, nurses, or in shops and factories. Initially, clothes made by the women were sold, but from 1893 onwards, the work of the Sewing Room was dedicated to making clothing for destitute children. The Sewing Room remained in operation until 1896 and in later years it provided work for unemployed tailors as well as women.

Painting of Flora Stevenson

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