WORAN Land Lecture

November 2024

Date to be announced

Over the last year or so, trade unions have shot to prominence in the UK as industrial unrest and strike action reach levels not seen for decades. So this is a particularly significant time to be welcoming Sue Ferns as our speaker in the 2023 Land Lecture.

Sue Ferns filled the hugely influential role of President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in 2021/22. She has for many years held a leading role in Prospect - a union with 150,000 members including engineers, scientists, managers, civil servants including a large number of OR/analytics professionals. Sue is also chairing the TUC's Women's Committee, and the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee. She was the first person in her family to go to university, has a degree in Industrial Relations from Salford University, and started her working life in the TUC's economics department.

For this event, Sue will be in conversation with Theresa Chambers. Since completing her OR MSc at Lancaster in 1995, Theresa has worked in senior OR roles at the Department of Work and Pensions, Home Office and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. She is currently Joint Head of Energy Infrastructure and Markets Analysis at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. She is a long-standing trades unionist, and WORAN member.

Sue and Theresa will be talking about a variety of issues including where things stand for women in the scientific/technical workplace, the role of unions in the movement towards gender equality and equity, and the role of women in unions against the background of her own career in a historically male-dominated environment. 

There will be plenty of opportunity for Q&A from the audience, and breakouts sessions to discuss some of the issues raised. As usual for this event, we will be using Zoom meetings so that all members of the audience can (if they wish) see and chat with each other, in order to maximise interactivity.


4:00pm - 4:10pm Introduction

4:10pm - 5:00pm Conversation, with Q&A

5:00pm - 5:20pm Breakouts

5:20pm - 6:00pm Return to plenary and feedback

Close by 6:00pm

* Subject to change

What is the Land Lecture?

WORAN held its first Annual Networking Event in 2019, just prior to the pandemic. The event has now been renamed the WORAN Land Lecture, in honour of Professor Ailsa Land, pioneer of branch-and-bound and computational OR, role model and mentor.

The date of the Land Lecture is Ada Lovelace Day, a day founded to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM.


Watch our 2022 Land Lecture

Everyone is welcome

Everyone is welcome regardless of gender. Whilst the event is primarily for women in OR, we welcome everyone to join us and support the ORS Women in OR and Analytics Network!

The best solution to one gender imbalance may not come from a forum which creates a different gender imbalance. By including male perspectives and experiences, the conversation is widened, builds awareness and create allies.

Find out more about WORAN:

WORAN Special Interest Group page