Meet three impressive women at Nottingham Trent University

Meet three impressive women at Nottingham Trent University

 December 11, 2018

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Nottingham Trent University truly is a place full of impressive women.

These women are making a positive difference both to the University and the communities in which they live and work. Meet three female professors who are thriving in a career they love through their valuable and fulfilling research - all thanks to support from the University. 

Meet Mollie, Professor of ethics and organisation at Nottingham Trent University

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Mollie Painter is a Professor of ethics and organisation at Nottingham Trent University's Nottingham Business school and head of the Responsible and Sustainable Business Lab. She wants to make the world a better place, one responsible business at a time. 

"What NTU did was to allow me to maintain my “uniqueness”. There is a special chemistry here, which is all about building relationships towards values-driven change," says Mollie.

An opportunity to make a positive impact

After holding academic positions in universities across the world, Mollie came to Nottingham Business School in 2013 because during her recruitment the message was quite clear: this was a place where her love of reading philosophy could have an impact and, if you come to Nottingham Trent University with unique ideas and ambition, then you get the space, freedom and resource to make things happen.

Nottingham Trent University fulfilled their promise - just two years after Mollie started her job, she was able to develop and lead an interdisciplinary research centre called the Responsible and Sustainable Business (RSB) Lab. It is one of the few research centres in the world spanning the fields of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and responsible leadership, which often get studied and practiced in isolation.

"Society is in such big trouble on so many fronts. Despite this, there is a huge amount of resource in businesses which can help tackle the major issues that we face – social, environmental and economic. Corporates have a role to play, but even more so, new business models are emerging which provide proof that “business ethics” need not be an oxymoron," explains Mollie.

"Responsible organisations live and breathe values in and through their strategy. This is what a wide array of stakeholders, including talented job-seeking millennials, now demand. When investors also start signalling the importance of responsible and sustainable business, the penny finally drops – literally. And this is what we see happening."

Supporting Nottingham Trent University employees

The handpicked RSB Lab core team coordinate and support a large group of Nottingham Trent University employees from different disciplines working across four interrelated research streams: energy and environment; pedagogy and talent development; ethics, innovation and entrepreneurship; and CSR and corporate governance. Mollie works across all four streams, but her passion is to continue to ask questions about the beliefs, habits and conceptual traps that undermine ethics and sustainability.

She also believes in the power of micro-actions – empowering individuals to give voice to their values though their relationships with others. Since Mollie is originally from South Africa, she has a passion for the continent and its unique capacity for relationality.

"Nottingham Trent University allows me space to lead the Africa programmes of the academy of Business in Society. This is an NGO based in Brussels, specifically focusing on developing values-driven leadership on the African continent. We deliver values-driven leadership programmes in Egypt, Kenya and South Africa to a cross-sectoral group of African leaders," adds Mollie.

"They are then invited to join the “Research on Ethical African Leadership (REAL) Network”. This online platform allows them to remain part of a supportive community committed to enabling values-driven change."

Meet Belinda, Professor in Forensic Psychology at Nottingham Trent University

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Belinda Winder is a Professor in Forensic Psychology and founder and head of the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct research Unit at Nottingham Trent University's School of Social Sciences. She wants to reduce sexual offending.

"Sexual crime is incredibly damaging. There are people born every day who are going to grow up and commit a sexual crime. If we want to tackle that, we have to look at what we can do to prevent it – and make it possible for people to get help and support. At the moment we don’t have a society where people who believe they have a problem can easily come forward and say: 'I’m struggling with this, I need help'," says Belinda.

Researching treatment and prevention

Belinda wants to make a real difference, which is why her team is very much part of HMP Whatton, one of Europe’s largest prisons for men who commit sexual crimes. Her team collaborate with management and meet with prisoners to try to understand what circumstances led them to commit an offence. They discuss a range of topics, and Belinda finds their perspective extremely useful. Not only does feeds into her research, but also helps create a potential means of treatment and prevention.

This year, Nottingham Trent University's Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct research Unit have have continued to lead on a number of national projects. They have been carrying out an evaluation of the medication used to manage problematic sexual arousal. Belinda wants to consider this as a viable form of treatment and prevention. It’s now being rolled out to seven other prisons in the UK, and being used in the community.

Supporting charities and initiatives 

Belinda and her team are continuing to grow the Safer Living Foundation, the only charity of its kind, which is run in collaboration with Whatton, the National Probation Service and Nottinghamshire Police. Their focus is on preventing there being further victims by reducing sexual offending through evidence-based rehabilitative and preventative initiatives. They are also looking at what happens to people when they come out; how they can get jobs and training and start to build networks that help prevent re-offending.

Belinda wants her students at Nottingham Trent University to be the best they can be, which means not just learning the theory from a distance. Nottingham Trent University's forensic psychology students visit Whatton and talk to prisoners, which according to Belinda helps them ground their theories and form their own ideas.

Strong support from the university

"The support we get from the University is absolutely off the scale. I’ve been amazed and delighted by how NTU has been so incredibly supportive of a subject area that they could easily face criticism over. Every bit of support they give us puts them at risk of people saying: “Why don’t you work with victims rather than perpetrators?” Well, we want to work with perpetrators because we want to change their behaviour and prevent there being further victims. I feel valued, and that what we’re doing is important work," says Belinda.

"From the Vice-Chancellor down we’ve had nothing but support, with people telling us that what we’re doing makes a real difference. The University helps in terms of funding, research evaluation, PhDs and giving us the time and space – it’s everything you can ask for as an academic. But there’s also just generally a really friendly, collaborative environment here. I think increasingly, with all the pressures in academia, it’s easier for researchers to become more competitive with each other, but we genuinely seem to have avoided all that. I can’t imagine going anywhere else."

Meet Loretta, Associate Professor in Law at Nottingham Trent University

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Loretta Trickett is an Associate Professor at Nottingham Trent University's Law school. She wants to to protect women and girls from harassment.

"What’s good about NTU is that I’m not pigeonholed into certain areas," says Loretta.

Constantly growing as a researcher

Nottingham Trent University has allowed Loretta to grow as a researcher. When she first came to Nottingham Trent University, her research focused on gender and experiences of victimisation, particularly masculinity and men’s fear of crime. Her research has now developed to explore different forms of hate crime and how that’s policed, and more recently she's been looking at older people’s feelings of safety, security and wellbeing.

Engaging debate about harassment

Loretta want to produce research that engages debate about the kinds of things society and the University should be tackling. Loretta has been involved in the misogyny as a hate crime evaluation. She carried out a study on the policing of hate crime, which included police training and the risk models they use. It’s had a lot of attention from the media, politicians and agencies and the Law Commission is now looking into whether misogyny should be included as a hate crime. 

She is now looking at how Nottingham Trent University can support new and emerging communities in Nottinghamshire and improve their access to public services. Another highlight for her this year has been exploring experiences of disabilist abuse to help police better support victims successfully.

"Harassment is increasingly a problem for women – particularly young women and even schoolgirls. We have a social responsibility to change attitudes – we’re not saying making misogyny a hate crime will solve everything, but we need to think differently as a society and that, for example, it’s not okay to shout sexual comments to women and girls in the street. My research is helping the police and disadvantaged groups," adds Loretta.

A new focus on policing

Loretta explains that policing is an area she is really interested in at the moment.  "The police get a lot of criticism and they’re under many constraints with limited resources and time. I want my research to help them by drawing on evidence of good practice. The University is aligning itself as a research and teaching establishment – rather than prioritising one over the other. I love being a researcher and working with organisations to make a change, but I also love being with the students and nurturing the next generation. I’m very fortunate that I have the chance to help them become politically aware about how the law and criminal justice system operate," says Loretta. 

A vibrant and diverse learning environment

Loretta loves the learning environment and Nottingham Trent University and the vibrant and diverse mix of students from all sorts of backgrounds. Nottingham Trent University are always looking at innovative ways to bring teaching to life and improve its methods. Loretta explains that one way it can do this is by using research to inform teaching.

"For example, I’ve used the misogyny as a hate crime topic to explore men’s and women’s experiences. NTU invests in people to help them become the best they can be. There are constant staff development programmes and the University is very supportive in everything I do, whether it’s enabling me to go to Westminster to give evidence, work with charities and agencies, or go to events," adds Loretta. "Projects aren’t limited to the big funding streams. Some of the most interesting research I do is with small pockets of money to help people in society who really need it, and that’s something the University has been very supportive of."

Join women like Mollie, Belinda and Loretta at Nottingham Trent University

Search and apply for your next career move with Nottingham Trent University and join the many impressive women who are making a difference through their purposeful careers.


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