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Professor Deborah Bowman recognised in Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights 2020 List

Published: 16 November 2020

Professor Deborah Bowman, Emeritus Professor of Bioethics, Clinical Ethics and Medical Law and, until recently, Deputy Principal (Institutional Affairs) at St George’s, has been recognised in the Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights 2020 List.  


The List, published in association with Lloyds Banking Group and the Woman of the Future Programme, celebrates 50 leaders who, it states, ‘are driving change...and making a positive impact with kindness’ across the UK today.  


“Professor Deborah Bowman’s commitment to develop and empower students and colleagues, especially women, both inside the organisation and out, has had immeasurable impact in higher education and the public sector,” the citation for her inclusion on the List said: “She is a truly exceptional individual with a tremendous intellect that she is able to use with great charm and kindness in her leadership of others. Her approach is unfailingly thoughtful, individualised and supportive, with the ability to celebrate people’s humanity and strengths so that they are able to develop confidently,” it added.  


Deborah joined St George’s as a Lecturer in 1999, before being promoted to Senior Lecturer and Professor and serving as Dean of Students and eventually taking on her role as Deputy Principal (Institutional Affairs). Over the years, her wide-ranging responsibilities have included supporting equality and diversity at St George’s and the quality assurance of our education, as well as public engagement.  


Professor Bowman has been a dedicated teacher at undergraduate and postgraduate level while driving advances in the Athena SWAN Silver award at St George’s, a new public engagement strategy and, most recently, the first report of the Review of Race Equality at St George’s. She has acted as a mentor to many and a role model to more people still. 


Sharing her insights on leadership and kindness, Professor Bowman said: “Kindness, for me, is the characteristic that reflects that leadership is an inherently relational and human-centred endeavour. We lead people and leaders are people. The word reminds me of 'kinship'.  


“I think it is difficult to be an effective leader without both recognising that the people we work with matter as individuals and recognising the collective power of treating those individuals well. Kindness is fundamental, essential and often transformative in what it models, creates and develops in any organisation.” 


Speaking about the initiative, Pinky Lilani CBE, DL, of the Woman of the Future Programme – which previously recognised Professor Bowman as Mentor of the Year in 2019 – said: “The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, business and our own personal lives. But it has also placed leadership under the microscope, accelerating our understanding of the leadership qualities required to navigate a way through a crisis."


“We can learn so much from the leaders honoured in the 2020 Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights List – most of all that it is kindness that we can hold on to in this storm; it is the quality that enables open and honest communication, keeps teams engaged, motivated and inspired and that lights up the road ahead, even in dark and desolate moments,” she added.  


More of Deborah’s insights on kindness and leadership and the full List can be found on the Kindness Rules website.  


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