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Scientist behind Oxford vaccine to be part of UK’s G7 equality council

PIC: John Cairns/University of Oxford

Professor Sarah Gilbert has been appointed to the Gender Equality Advisory Council.

One of the major players behind the Oxford vaccine will be part of a gender equality council that will make recommendations on women’s empowerment to the G7.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, who led work on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, has been appointed to the Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC) as a member, while Sarah Sands, a former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, will be the chairwoman.

With the UK presiding over the G7 this year, the Prime Minister has asked International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to lead the work of the council from a ministerial level.

The council will produce an independent report and set out recommendations as to how the G7, due to convene in Cornwall in June, can help women across the globe to drive, and benefit from, the coronavirus pandemic recovery.

Officials said that after the role of women in science, technology and engineering had been amplified by the UK’s vaccine development and rollout, ministers are keen to use the G7 to encourage more women and girls to take up such subjects for career and education opportunities.

Making the announcement on International Women’s Day (IWD), Ms Truss, who is also minister for women and equalities, said: “Women are at the forefront of our recovery from Covid-19 and the work of GEAC will advance these efforts on a global scale, helping women build back better everywhere.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Gilbert has also been shortlisted for a prestigious award today.

The Oxford University Professor has been shortlisted for the Bold Woman Award, which celebrates female leadership, honouring inspirational women with an established track record of organisational and personal success.

Maria Raga, chief executive of fashion resale app Depop, and Dame Donna Kinnair, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, are also among the finalists for Veuve Clicquot’s award.

PIC: Sam Copeland/Veuve Clicquot PA

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