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Dame Nancy in Woman's Hour power list

12 Feb 2013

The President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, has been named one of the UK's most powerful women in a BBC survey.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

A panel of judges compiled a list of the country's 100 most influential females for Radio 4's Woman's Hour. The list is led by The Queen, followed by Home Secretary Theresa May and Santander bank boss Ana Botin, with Dame Nancy in 15th.

Dame Nancy said: “It was a surprise, and an honour to be in such illustrious company!  It is also great to see that a quarter of the top 20 studied or taught at the University of Manchester.”

One judge, journalist Eve Pollard, said: "Most women on our list were judged to have power because they had reached a place where they have control - of policy, of direction, of influence, of staff.

"The panel, a democratic group, also felt that we should include some women who have what we describe as soft power - not hire and fire or innovative financial decisions but the ability to transform the way we think about ourselves.

"What this list does is shine a light on those sectors where too few women are getting to the top, like politics, FTSE companies, the military and journalism. Our legacy, we hope, is that this list might change that."

The University of Manchester is strongly represented, boasting links with five of the top 20 women.  As well as Dame Nancy, the list includes former Manchester Law Professor, Baroness Hale of Richmond (No.4) and three former students: Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England (No.6), Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC (No.11), and Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP (No.17). 

The top 20 names in the Woman's Hour list are:

  1. Her Majesty The Queen
  2. Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)
  3. Ana Botin (CEO, Santander UK)
  4. Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond (Supreme Court judge)
  5. Elisabeth Murdoch (chairman, Shine Group)
  6. Professor Dame Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer)
  7. Justine Roberts and Carrie Longton (co-founders, Mumsnet)
  8. Lady Justice Hallett (Appeal Court judge)
  9. Angela Ahrendts (CEO, Burberry)
  10. Dame Gail Rebuck (chairman and CEO, The Random House Group)
  11. Frances O'Grady (general secretary, TUC)
  12. Moya Greene (chief executive, Royal Mail)
  13. JK Rowling (author and philanthropist)
  14. Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP (deputy leader, Labour Party)
  15. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell (President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester)
  16. Rosemary Squire (co-founder and co-chief executive, Ambassador Theatre Group)
  17. Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport)
  18. Sara Thornton (chief constable, Thames Valley Police)
  19. Ann Glover (chief scientific adviser to the European Commission)
  20. Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Deputy First Minister of Scotland)

Notes for editors

Contact Jon Keighren, Media Relations Manager, The University of Manchester 0161 275 8384