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Posts from the ‘Athena SWAN’ Category

International Women’s Day – a celebration and a call to #press for progress!!

International Women’s Day is both a collective day of global celebration as well as a call for gender parity; this year the theme was #press for progress.  Given that 2018 marks the centennial since the first, but not all, women were given the right to vote, we can recognise progress that has been made. However, we cannot be complacent and the gender pay gap and lack of representation of women in leadership in HE are clear evidence that we have a way to go. 81% of governing bodies and 78% of VCs are men and when we look at representation intersectionally black and minority ethnic backgrouds in leadership positions is under 1%. (Read more:

Jess Moody’s (ECU Senior Policy Adviser) WONKHE blog post  provides a good oversight of progress already made in the HE sector as well as the on-going need for progress. She recommends a two pronged approach; one to proactively support women through networking, mentoring and development programmes and another which focuses on the structural changes needed, through the Athena SWAN self-assessment process and equal pay audits which enable embedded action planning. To find out what UEL is doing along both these strands, please see our Athena SWAN intranet pages.  If you would like to get involved, please contact

International Women’s Day was recognised at UEL through an exhibition on each campus (Docklands, USS and Stratford Water Lane) as well as within other events such as the UEL’s Volunteering Awards. In case you missed the exhibitions, which included nominations from UEL students and staff of women who have inspired them, there is a sample below. In Stratford, we were able to celebrate Women in STEM in particular through Kate Hodgkin’s, Professor of Cultural History at UEL, celebration of the achievements of her grandmother, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, is the only British woman to have won a Nobel Prize for science.

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International Women’s Day – Exhibitions, refreshments and networking

This year, we will recognise International Women’s Day (8th March 2018) through ‘Women who Inspire’ nominations from UEL staff and students. Exhibitions will be held on each campus in the following spaces:

Docklands Campus, SportsDock, ground floor cafe area. There will be refreshments and informal networking from noon to 1 pm.

University Square Stratford – School of Business & Law are hosting a panel discussion: ‘Female UEL Graduates and Students Driving Innovation and Sustainability in organisations and their own businesses’ in USS.G.19-20, 1pm start followed by exhibition, refreshments and networking from 2pm.

Stratford Water Lane, featuring British Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, grandmother of UEL Cultural Studies Professor Kate Hodgkin and celebrating Women in STEM. There will be refreshments and informal networking from 4 to 5pm ground floor foyer of the Cass/Education building.

Follow on Twitter: #PressforProgress


Book Launch – Inside the Ivory Tower

Narratives of Women of Colour surviving and thriving in British Academia

To take place at University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, London E15 1NF

Go to the eventbrite page to book your place 

We are very pleased to invite you to join us for the book launch of ‘Inside the Ivory Tower’ and celebrate this rare opportunity that brings the voices of 10 Black British Female Academics to the forefront.

This book places the perspectives, experiences and career trajectories of women of colour in British academia at the centre of analysis, positioning academia as a space dominated by whiteness and patriarchy where women of colour must develop strategies for survival and success. It explores how the experiences of the contributors are shaped by race and gender and how racism manifests in day to day experiences in the academe, from subtle micro-agressions to overt racialised and gendered abuse. Presented as a selection of auto-ethnographies, each chapter touches on common themes such as invisibility, hypervisibility, exclusion and belonging, highlighting intersectional experiences. It is a must-read for anyone interested in equality within and beyond academia.

You can find out more information about the authors here:

This event is a chance to meet 9 of the academics involved (listed below). It will be a celebration of the book and the authors, with refreshments, a panel discussion, performances and an opportunity to buy a signed copy of the book.*

Event outline:

Welcome from Professor Nora Colton, Acting Vice Chancellor, UEL

Keynote – Dr Deborah Gabriel, co-editor of ‘Inside the Ivory Tower’

Contributors talk about their chapters

Q&A session

The book can be pre-ordered and please do send in any questions you have for the panel who will do their best to answer them at the event.


Dr Deborah Gabriel – Senior Lecturer in Politics, Media & Communication at Bournemouth University & Founder & Director of Black British Academics

Professor Shirley Anne Tate – Professor of Race and Education in the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Beckett University


Professor Claudia Bernard – Professor of Social Work & Postgraduate Research, Goldsmiths University

Dr Jenny Douglas – Senior Lecturer In Health Promotion at the The Open University

Dr Ima Jackson – Lecturer in the School of Health & Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University

Dr Josephine Kwhali – Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Coventry UniversityProfessor Heidi Safia Mirza – Professor of Race, Faith & Culture at Goldsmith College, University of London. (unable to attend)

Dr Elizabeth Opara – Head of the Department of Applied & Human Sciences at Kingston University

Aisha Richards – Associate Lecturer in Art & Design at UAL; Founder & Director of Shades of Noir

Dr Marcia Wilson – Head of the School of Health, Sport & Bioscience, University of East London

You may also be interested in:

HeForShe gender equality event – Tuesday 20th February 2018heforshe image

Venue: University of East London, Docklands campus, University Way, London E16 2RD

ALL students and staff welcome


At the ECU Athena SWAN Awards and Psychology submits!

Dr Lisa Mooney, PVC Research and Knowledge Exchange, and Clare Matysova, Athena SWAN Project Officer, were pleased to receive the institutional Athena SWAN bronze award on behalf of UEL.

The award reflects the hard work of all those involved in Athena SWAN related work. We are still early on in the journey and now in the process of implementing the comprehensive Athena SWAN action plan​.

One of the keys areas we are working on is enabling more consistent approach to flexible employment across UEL. This includes training for line managers and teams during 2018 and promotion of good practice through gathering case studies; for example working job share, successful career progression while working part time and take up of the recently introduced Shared Parental Leave. If you would like to contribute your story, please contact

Further, now we have the institutional award, UEL’s Schools are able to make departmental applications which will enable identification and tackling gender equality issues specific to each School.

The School of Psychology have recently submitted our first departmental application in November 2017 and we expect the outcome in April 2018. Dr Sharon Cahill and Dr Caroline Edmonds are co-chairs the School’s self-assessment team and led on the submission.

Dr Caroline Edmonds said ‘the self-assessment process has enabled us to identify specific areas of improvement and to embed plans within broader School planning, both long and short term. One of the areas we are keen to start tackling is the gender imbalance in grant applications and success.’

If you would like to find out more, please contact your School Athena SWAN champion​

You may also be interested in our upcoming events:

Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour surviving and thriving in British Academia

Date: 26th January 2018

Time: Networking starts 5.30, Discussion starts 6pm

Venue: USS

HeForShe – Discussing the role of men in progressing gender equality – 20th February 2018​.

​Date: 20th February 2018​

Time: Networking starts 5.30, Discussion starts 6pm

Venue: Docklands


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Women in leadership

  1. Participation in the Aurora women only leadership programme is underway (more below).
  2. Women in Leadership event – Celebrating the impact of visible role models (more below).
  3. And in case you missed it, Equal Pay Day was on 10th November: equal pay day

With a gender pay gap at 14.1% in the UK, women are working for the rest of 2017 for free. Find out what UEL is doing about addressing the equal pay gap. Our Athena SWAN application also identified priorities to work towards.

Read more