Lancaster woman makes it onto top list of powerful women- - but who is Rebecca Willis?
Girl power it definitely top of the timetable at one Lancashire university
A Lancaster University academic has been officially named in the Woman’s Hour Power List 2020: Our Planet.
Rebecca Willis, who is Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre, was selected for the list, which is a toast to British women who are making a significant contribution to the health and sustainability of the environment.
She said: "I’m so pleased to be part of this amazing group of women. We work in many different ways, but we all share a determination to fight for a healthy environment. I’m in such good company, and it’s buoyed me up for the struggles we will, no doubt, continue to face.”
Rebecca added: “I look at ways to make our democracy work better so that we can tackle the climate crisis together.
“I was inspired to do this because I was struck by how little we talk about climate change, particularly in political debates. There’s been a tendency to ‘leave it to the experts’.
"We really need those experts – like scientists and economists – to help us understand the problem, but in a democracy, they can’t, and shouldn’t, make decisions for us.
“The climate crisis will affect all our lives, and we need to work out what we do about it collectively, as a society."
By making onto this prestigious list the professor, who was an expert lead to the Climate Assembly UK, sits alongside the likes of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, curator of the Natural History Museum Miranda Lowe, film director Franny Armstrong and broadcaster Kate Humble.
She said: "As a woman, I’ve benefited from the incredible wisdom, collaboration and support of the women I’ve worked alongside, as well as those who came before me, when it was so much more difficult to forge a path: women like Mary Robinson, who is an absolute hero of mine.
"I’d like people to realise that what they say and do really counts. Talking about the climate crisis, using your vote, protesting when you don’t think things are right. These are all so important, and there’s good evidence to show that they have an impact.
"I feel optimistic about the future. There’s a very noticeable and totally understandable increase in people’s concern about the damage that we’re doing to our climate and to the natural world. Alongside this, then been an upsurge in people speaking out, and in a sense of determination to tackle these challenges, together."
The full list was announced during today, Monday's, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.