• Award Celebrates Achievement in Advancing Equality and Diversity
    Maitane Sandonis Perez

News & Views

Award Celebrates Achievement in Advancing Equality and Diversity

Jul 18 2023

For her continuous work focused on improving equality and diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, Maitane Sandonis Perez (21) was named as the 2023 winner of Dundee University’s prestigious Wimberley Award.

Graduating this year in Biological Sciences Maitane worked with Dundee’s Athena SWAN  Undergraduate Committee, helping to promote the visibility of female scientists, prevent gender-based violence and raise awareness on neurodiversity in STEM.

 “I am truly honoured by this recognition,” she said. “It makes me very happy to see that the work towards equality and diversity in STEM is valued by the University. It is a meaningful closure to all the work put into it and a great chance to celebrate the achievements of my Athena SWAN colleagues.

“I am proud to be a part of such a high standard, yet ever-improving institution. These campaigns have helped break the biases towards women in STEM in our university and have led to the implementation of measures to prevent and facilitate help in instances of gender-based violence in the academic environment.

 “The neurodivergence in STEM campaign will launch in the next academic year. It is meaningful to me that the School is working to break the stereotypes associated with neurodiversity and that students and staff will soon have the testimonies and encouragement of successful neurodivergent scientists.

“I would like to thank Melissa d'Ascenzio and Lesley-Anne Pearson for leading the wonderful Athena SWAN group in my School and helping us students in our projects to improve the university. Likewise, I must acknowledge the work of the rest of the student committee who have worked just as hard to make all these projects happen, and the efforts of many other students that I have come across who also want to see the University of Dundee become a better place.”

Originally from Alicante, Spain, she was also named Student Representative of the Year (environment and sustainability) in 2022 in recognition of her efforts and plans to continue a career in Ecology and Conservation.

“Dundee has provided me with a platform to develop professionally while working for important causes,” Maitane continued. “I have developed a deep love for the city. I feel in awe, and this has been my motivation to work to give back to our community. I sincerely hope my work helps the University and the city to continue improving.”

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