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Posts tagged ‘Athena SWAN’

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

Why is my Professor not Black?

Date: Monday 27 November 2017

Time: 12.30-14.00

Location: UEL Stratford Campus – CC.G.05

Athena SWAN has made progress in terms of gender equality over the last ten years but there seems to be a slower response in acknowledging and tackling racism in academia. Improving representation of our students within academia is essential if we want to tackle the attainment gap and encourage more black students to progress into academia.

The most up to date demographics have just been released for UK academics. 9.7% of BME academics are professors, in comparison to 11.1% of white academics. Only 4.7% of black UK academics are professors. In 2015/16, 23.9% of professors were female. Of these female professors, only 0.5% were black.

Join our panel discussion and contribute to what will be a lively debate!


  • Dr Marcia Wilson, Head of School, HSB
  • Dr Deanne Bell, Senior Lecturer, Psychology
  • Dr Julie Botticello, Senior Lecturer, HSB
  • Ayaan Cabdi, Student Union Vice President (Welfare)
  • Dr Anthony Gunter, Principal Lecturer in Criminology, RDSBL
  • Dr Winston Morgan, Reader Toxicology and Clinical Biochemistry, HSB

All welcome! Click here to reserve your space!


Professors slide

Join us in the Race For Equality

The University of East London is about to embark on a campaign to try and improve racial equality at the institution.

Elite universities Oxford and Cambridge recently hit the headlines for their perceived lack of diversity in terms of the race and class of their student admissions.

UEL is in a very different position, as the majority of our students (65%) are from BAME backgrounds.  However, that is not reflected in the make-up of our staff, especially those in senior positions. There is also the sector-wide issue of an attainment gap in the level of academic achievement reached by students of different ethnicities.

We want to improve the racial dynamics at UEL for the better for everyone. To help facilitate progress towards race equality, we are currently working towards an application for the Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU’s) Race Equality Charter (REC).

An important first step is for all staff to take part in a survey. We want to hear your views on working at UEL and whether you think there is anything we can do to advance race equality, and value diversity.

Marcia Wilson, the chair of the REC self-assessment team explained how the data from the survey will be used. She said

“The feedback from this survey will help to understand racial inequalities, identify areas for improvement and possible solutions; inform our planning and approach to improving race equality generally and inform our Race Equality Charter application specifically.”

It is important for us to understand the experience of ALL staff  at UEL in relation to race equality, irrespective of their race or ethnicity.

The application will be consulted on leading up to submission and made available on the intranet.

Please complete the staff survey which can be accessed here