March 8, 2019, by Charlotte Anscombe

Modern slavery abolitionist wins Inspirational Women Award

Professor Zoe Trodd, Director of the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, has won a Notts Inspirational Women Award.

Zoe was nominated by colleagues at the University for her outstanding leadership of the Rights Lab and the transformative impact of her work to eradicate modern slavery.

Professor Trodd received her award at a ceremony at Nottingham Council House on 7 March.

Professor Trodd said: “I am thrilled to receive this award on behalf of all of my team. Of today’s 40 million slaves, 70% are female, and the Rights Lab works with inspirational women survivors and activists globally to help end this slavery by 2030.

“I am also proud that our team, the world’s largest and leading group of modern slavery researchers, is led by inspirational women, including our Deputy Director Sarah Kerr, our Associate Directors Alison Gardner, Andrea Nicholson and Doreen Boyd, our Head of Operations Nathalie Walters, our Head of Philanthropy Samantha Cousens, and our Senior Administrators Jacqui Clay and Helen Taylor. As a community focused on ending a human rights abuse that disproportionally affects women globally, we are honoured by this award’s spotlight on women’s antislavery leadership.”

This is the inaugural year of the Notts Inspirational Women Awards, which is hosted by Nottingham Women’s Centre, and aims to celebrate women in the county who inspire and motivate people.

The Rights Lab is the world’s largest and leading group of slavery researchers and a partner to the UK government, numerous NGOs and the UN on tackling slavery. The group has grown from just a handful of experts to around 100 team members in just over two years. The team are delivering research to help end slavery by the United Nations goal of 2030.

The Rights Lab’s central goal is freedom from slavery and it seeks a real-world impact in the lives of 40 million slaves globally (including 130,000 in the UK). Seventy per cent of today’s slaves are female and the Rights Lab tackles key forms of female slavery, including forced marriage, sexual slavery, and domestic servitude. It empowers women community leaders in key global hotspots to achieve sustainable freedom.

As well as working to put women at the heart of global antislavery and demonstrating sensitivity in her collaborations with slavery survivors, Zoe has built the Rights Lab itself as a space of women’s leadership.

In addition to Zoe as the director, 75% of the Rights Lab’s associate directors, 80% of its postdoctoral researchers and 100% of its PhD students are women, as are its Heads of Operations, Philanthropy, and Policy, and the survivor-leader of the partner NGO that the Rights Lab incubated. It is the most female-dominated high-performing research unit on campus.

Professor Todd Landman, Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University and Executive Director of the Rights Lab, said: “The University is delighted that Professor Trodd’s leadership of the Rights Lab has been recognised in this way. She leads the largest collection of slavery researchers in world working on a problem that disproportionately affects women and girls. Within the Rights Lab, Professor Trodd develops and supports early career researchers, a cohort of academics which is also disproportionately female.’

Professor Sarah Sharples, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University said: “I’m delighted that Zoe has been honoured through this award. Zoe is one of our many inspirational women at the University, and her leadership of the Rights Lab demonstrates a strong commitment to equality through the antislavery work that she champions. We are incredibly proud of her achievements, and are delighted that the Nottingham Women’s Centre has chosen to recognise and celebrate the work that she leads.”

Discover more about the inspirational work of Professor Trodd and the Rights Lab in Vision, the University’s research and knowledge exchange magazine

Posted in Awards and accoladesSocial SciencesStaffThe Rights Lab