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Women in Academia

Thursday 25 - Friday 26 February 2016
Radcliffe , Meeting room 2A


Despite significant progress in recent years, there remains a gender imbalance in the academy at Warwick – and elsewhere – particularly at the most senior levels. The University Council take a close interest in this matter and the Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Head of Council, Viki Cooke, facilitated a workshop in February designed to construct ideas about what can be done to improve matters at Warwick in both the short and the long term.

The workshop was attended by 29 participants, drawn from those who are currently Assistant, Associate, or full Professors in an academic department at Warwick. Participants represented a diverse group with differing levels of experience and discipline – the key requirement being their willingness to share observations and ideas.

A range of speakers from within the University were invited to contribute to the event and the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Stuart Croft, was present to hear the conclusions and recommendations.


Pre-Event Tasks

We asked participants to undertake two pre-event activities:

For day 1: In order to start the workshop by understanding what personal success looks like for participants and what institutional success (either at department level or whole institution level). In order to help bring that discussion to life participants were asked to bring 2 objects or pictures: 1 that symbolises where they would like to be in 5 years and 1 that symbolises where they would like their department or the University to be in 5 years time.

For day 2: Participants were asked to answer the following question - 'If you were Vice-Chancellor for a day and could change one thing to tackle gender inequality, what would it be?'. Participants were asked to talk for approximately 5 minutes each.


Interesting links/articles

These links were shared by participants following the workshop, and may be of interest. Thanks to Corinne Smith for circulating.

  • ‘Why am I being paid less than my male colleagues?’ - Hot off the press, Katie Roiphe’s article for the Guardian ‘why am I being paid less than my male colleagues?Link opens in a new window’ cuts close to the issue at hand. This is very relevant to the third development day of Aurora, (Core Leadership Skills with Rebecca Nestor), Rebecca (@learningforgood) and Joella Bruckshaw (@JoellaBruckshaw) tag teamed to share this with colleagues on twitter.
  • Permission Given - Recommended by Carol Ann Smith (@CASmith41), Permission GivenLink opens in a new window by Athene Donald (@AtheneDonald) discusses overcoming professional anxiety, raising your voice and giving yourself permission.
  • ‘My year of saying yes to everything’ - A hot topic of conversation, Dr Jacqui Morris (@jacquimorris11) shared this TED talk by Shonda Rhimes ‘my year of saying yes to everythingLink opens in a new window’ which tackles challenging issues around achieving work life balance, success and enjoyment.
  • 1 more step for women… - In a positive move toward increasing women representation amongst our senior teams, Jessica Ferguson (@JessBlondy) shared this inspiring story celebrating Sally Mapstone’s new role as principal of the University of St Andrews,Link opens in a new window formerly held by Professor Louise Richardson who are recently taken up the post of vice-chancellor at the University of Oxford.
  • Becoming the best - The University of Manchester are hosting a free event on ‘becoming the bestLink opens in a new window’ as part of a wider initiative to provide a space for women in science and engineering to discuss strategies to enhance their careers. The event will take place on Tuesday 8 March 2016.
  • Amy Cuddy on Women’s Hour - Missed your dose of the power pose? Amy Cuddy spoke on BBC 4 women’s hour earlier this month – catch up on Women's Hour hereLink opens in a new window.