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Weighing up equality challenges in Higher Education


The Universities of Durham and Newcastle are to host a national conference on women in higher education to examine the issues surrounding gender equality and career progression.

The conference, which will take place on April 1 and 2 is aimed at academics and university professional services staff, and will seek to broaden understanding about women’s experiences in higher education.  It will also highlight the importance of mentors in female career development.

More women than men work in the UK higher education sector and yet the proportion of women in leadership positions remains low.

Conference sessions will cover female career progression; coaching and mentoring; establishing networks; managing maternity leave, changing workplace cultures and cultural sexism and race, amongst other issues.
Keynote speakers include Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University and Chair of the Board of the Equality Change Unit and Dr Katie Perry, Chief Executive of the Daphne Jackson Trust, an organisation named after the country’s first ever female physics professor which is solely dedicated to returning scientists to their careers after a prolonged break.

Professor Catherine Alexander, Dean of Equality and Diversity at Durham University, said: “It is our pleasure to welcome some of the country’s most prominent female academics to discuss their research and share their experiences. Conferences like this are important agents for bringing about real change.”

Professor Judith Rankin, pictured, Chair of Diversity Committee at Newcastle University said: “We hope that the conference will enable participants to gain knowledge that can bring about cultural change to improve the situation for women in higher education, enhance their own careers and the careers of those in their organisations.”

Delegates are invited to use the hashtag #WCHE14 to discuss the event on social media.

For more information visit the conference website.

published on: 28 March 2014