Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso, from the School of Biology, is celebrating becoming the second person from Leeds to earn a senior promotion after joining the ground-breaking 100 Black Women Professors NOW! programme.
The pioneering systemic change programme aims to break down barriers by increasing the number of Black women in the academic pipeline. When it was launched in 2021, only 35 of more than 23,000 UK professors were Black women. Yoselin is number 62.
The new Professor of Interdisciplinary Plant Science said: “This is amazing – it means so much to me.
“I’m hopeful there will come a time when this sort of announcement isn’t exceptional. We’re heading in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go. The fact Leeds employs two of only 62 Black female professors in the entire UK, however, shows we’re making progress.
“When I joined the University, I was the only Black person in my department. Now we have staff and students from across the globe. It’s really rewarding when our students say how they can engage more with me and how I’ve become something of a role model. It’s incredible I’ve been able to inspire them in their future careers.”