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Gender in Higher Education Conference 2023: Gender in the Hybrid Age

This conference aims to bring together higher education experts in gender equality to address the gender imbalance in higher education.

Gender in the Hybrid Age

Our fourth edition of this annual conference brings together academics, EDI professionals, managers, and leaders with an interest in promoting gender equality within higher education, including Athena Swan leads and Aurora Alumni. It is also relevant to staff with responsibility for developing or implementing policies, practices and procedures for supporting staff and students and who want to ensure gender inclusion in their work and to gain a greater understanding of gender as it intersects with other areas of equality including disability and race.

The theme of this year’s conference - Gender in the Hybrid Age - builds upon Advance HE’s previous work highlighting the gendered impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in HE, to understand how new ways of working and learning continue to impact on our achievement of gender equality.

Hybrid working and the delivery of hybrid learning is now accepted practice across the UK HE sector, resulting in a rethinking of approaches to work and a wide variety of working arrangements. Advance HE’s 2023 Gender in HE conference will consider emerging evidence of differential experiences, explore how universities are addressing gender equality, and identify new challenges and opportunities to address gender inequalities in the Hybrid Age.

Taking an approach that recognises the intersections between gender and other characteristics, the Conference will consider:

  • Gender inequalities (established and emerging) in current employment patterns
  • How hybrid working is impacting on the health and well-being of women, men and non-binary people in HE
  • Creating inclusive spaces for student parents and carers
  • Developing inclusive leadership for the world of hybrid working
  • Digital safety in hybrid working
  • Innovative ways of encouraging and supporting home-based and flexible working
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Workshops

  • Workshop 1: Where are we going with the gender pay gap?
  • Workshop 2: Maternity provision, contract status, and likelihood of returning to work: Evidence from research intensive universities in the UK
  • Workshop 3: Gender in HE leadership in the hybrid working environment: challenges and opportunities
  • Workshop 4: Digital safety in the HE environment
  • Workshop 5: A gender-inclusive approach to student spaces and support
  • Workshop 6: From maternity to menopause: women's health in the hybrid workplace
Find out more
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Download programme

Gender in HE Conference 2023 programme

Download
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Unconference session Introduction:

You may be familiar with the concept of an ‘unconference’ session or event if you’ve heard of or taken part in a ‘World café’. The purpose of an unconference is to give delegates an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity. More than just ‘networking’, the unconference is a participant driven meeting where delegates decide what to talk about, with whom and in what ways. At the conference, we’ve allocated one hour this space. All sessions/ideas are welcome.

How does it work?

Please use this form to send in your idea. We will publish these on the website to give prospective delegates a sense of the range of topics that people are suggesting – and give you an opportunity to connect and collaborate with others who have a similar topic. At this stage, these are only suggestions – the agenda for the Bar Camp will only be created at the event itself. We have limited physical space at the conference, so we encourage collaboration/merging of sessions – but the decision is up to you.

Think about convening a session

You do not need to do any preparation to convene a session. If you get an idea the day of the event, call a session. There is no ‘right way’ to lead a session. However, there is a bias towards interaction and discussion.

Choose a format for your session will help you achieve your vision. Here are some examples:

A short presentation to get things started

5-15 minutes of prepared material/comments by the session leader followed by an interactive discussion

My Big (or Little) Question

You have a question you want to know the answer to, and you think others in the group could help you answer it. This format could also just be the seed of a conversation.

Lightning talk

Participants present to the group for a short period of time, typically around five minutes

Charette

Give participants a problem to solve and allow them to self-organize and create working solutions.

You’re encouraged to take photos of different elements of your program so you can share them with others either at sessions you lead or in other sessions.

At the event

If you’re leading a session:

  • You ‘hold the space’ by leading a discussion, posing a question etc. Stay visible and be the guide on the side if necessary
  • Ask for help to hold the space. For example get someone to help facilitate the discussion. This can be someone you know or another delegate interested in the discussion
  • Don’t make assumptions about knowledge and experience. You may know more/less or just as much as the next delegate. If in doubt , ask first
  • Don’t try to fill the time. If your session finishes ahead of time, end it
  • Be brave! Others are interested in making your session work
  • Think about the ideas you want to cover, and how you want to do this , but don’t over prepare
  • Experiment, there’s no such thing as failure at an unconference

If you are a delegate for this section:

  • Be patient. We are learning and trying something new. The focus is on finding the time and space to talk to one another
  • Follow your passion. Go to the session which interests you
  • Take responsibility for your own learning. If a topic interests you and it’s not on the agenda put them first

We may not have the physical space to run all the events, but we will try to facilitate 3 sessions on the day

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Keynote Panel

Director
,
Delta Alpha Psi
Dr Doyin Atewologun
Doyin is a psychologist, scholar practitioner, a regular media contributor and multi-award winner in recognition of her innovative methodologies and pioneering work in promoting inclusion and excellence in organisations. She is Dean of the Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford and concurrently Director of Delta Alpha Psi, a niche leadership and inclusion consultancy.

Former Director of the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership
,
Trinity College Dublin
Eileen Dres
Professor Eileen Drew, is the former Director of the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland where she lectured in the School of Computer Science and Statistics and the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies.

Equalities Adviser, Bar Standards Board
Dr Sarabajaya Kumar
Dr Sarabajaya Kumar is a scholar-activist, Director of Impatience Ltd, an organisation set up to support and host innovative public benefit projects, and an Associate Professor in Voluntary & Non-Profit Sector Policy and Leadership at University College London (UCL). Her research interests are in Accountability, Governance, Ethical Leadership, and Equality. She has been working on social justice issues, including gender and disability equity, for the last three decades.

Head of Equality and Diversity
,
University of Oxford
Sarah Stephenson-Hunter
Sarah is currently the joint interim Head of Equality and Diversity at Oxford University and their Staff Disability Advisor and LGBTQ+ lead. She has worked within the HE sector for 20 years having previously worked as a student disability advisor at Nottingham Trent University, University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham. She is a totally blind trans woman and regularly speaks on the intersection of disability and LGBTQ+ equality within the workplace and wider society. She prides herself on being able to discuss often complex topics with authenticity, warmth and in a way that highlights the humanity behind the headlines.
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Workshops

Workshop 1: Where are we going with the gender pay gap?

Director
,
Delta Alpha Psi
Dr Doyin Atewologun
Doyin is a psychologist, scholar practitioner, a regular media contributor and multi-award winner in recognition of her innovative methodologies and pioneering work in promoting inclusion and excellence in organisations. She is Dean of the Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford and concurrently Director of Delta Alpha Psi, a niche leadership and inclusion consultancy.
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Workshop 2: Maternity provision, contract status, and likelihood of returning to work: Evidence from research intensive universities in the UK

Inequality in the maternity provision available to university staff based on type of contract (fixed-term or open-ended) could be contributing to the loss of women from academia. This session will consider how variation in maternity provision and the frequent use of policies that limit support to fixed-term workers may be contributing to gender inequality in UK universities. The workshop will provide a space for discussion of the evidence and will ask participants to consider 4 key recommendations for improving provision based on best-practice examples across the sector.

PhD Graduate, Cicely Saunders Institute
Joanna Davies
Joanna has recently completed her PhD on socioeconomic inequality in palliative and end-of-life care at the Cicely Saunders Institute. She has a background in sociology, social policy and epidemiology and her research focuses on the use of big data to investigate the social determinants of the care people receive towards the end of life. She is also interested in equity issues in academic appointments and retention and recently published a paper on: Maternity provision, contract status, and likelihood of returning to work: Evidence from research intensive universities in the UK.
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Workshop 3: Gender in HE leadership in the hybrid working environment: challenges and opportunities

This interactive session will commence with a presentation on the current trends and research on gender in leadership in hybrid working world, both from the HE sector and beyond, followed by a discussion with delegates about their experiences of this in their respective universities. 

The facilitators will then consider the implications for leaders and how they need to respond to the current challenges of hybrid working and bearing in mind the gender lens. We will share current thinking about perspectives on leadership in higher education and what is required to lead in the hybrid environment. 

Delegates will then get the opportunity to participate in the leadership skill bridging exercise, which will consider: where are we? What is needed? and practical steps we can take to bridge the gap.

The session will conclude with some practical steps for delegates to take away and implement into their leadership practice.

Senior consultant, executive coach and programme director
,
Advance HE
Barbara Bassa
Barbara Bassa is a senior consultant, executive coach and programme director for a number of national and bespoke leadership development programmes at Advance HE with over twenty years’ experience in higher education. She completed her Masters in Organisational Development and Coaching and Mentoring in 2013 and has delivered over 3000 coaching sessions since then, both in the UK and internationally.

Senior Consultant, EDI
,
Advance HE
Baljit
Baljit Birring is a Senior Consultant for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at Advance HE. She is creative and focused on her commitment to and passion for challenging established practices which sustain inequity, championing equality, diversity and inclusion to improve outcomes.
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Workshop 4: Digital safety in the HE environment

The rapid expansion of digital technologies to deliver learning and student services in HEIs and colleges was accelerated during the pandemic and has enabled HEIs to adapt and expand their reach.  At the same time, this has brought new challenges in safeguarding students and staff. Alongside this we have seen a growth in online abuse and an uneven impact on different groups, including gendered patterns of online violence and sexual harassment within higher education as well as in society more broadly.  

Universities have responded to these challenges through research and the development of new frameworks, guidance and resources, and broader findings and experience were published by UUK.

With a growing body of practice to share, this workshop will:

•    Explore the gendered nature of risks and vulnerabilities of the online environment in HE 

•    provide information on the evolving policy and legislative context relevant to the sector, and  

•    highlight current practices in HE both staff to ensure digital safety as well as that of students 

Higher Education Online Safeguarding Self-Review Tool

 

Pro Vice-Chancellor Research
,
University of Suffolk
Professor Emma Bond
Professor Emma Bond is Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Professor of Socio-Technical Research at the University of Suffolk.
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Workshop 5: A gender-inclusive approach to student spaces and support

 

 

Many institutions gender equality work is more advanced than other areas of equality work and yet there is still more to be done to ensure that student spaces and support are gender inclusive. This workshop will focus on a range of gendered issues - gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, sex as well as gender identity, life stages e.g. menopause, gender based violence, and caring responsibilities. It will draw on national level context and lessons from the University of Salford’s work with a focus on its initiatives to provide spaces and support for trans and non binary students. This interactive work shop will explore:

  • What we mean by a gender inclusive approach.
  • Evidence related to the student characteristics of gender reassignment and sex in higher education.
  • Persistent barriers including those experienced by student parents.
  • How Salford has involved trans, non binary and intersex students in bring about change.

Senior Consultant, EDI
,
Advance HE
Ellen Pugh
Ellen Pugh is a Senior Consultant in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for Advance HE, specialising in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Ellen has worked to promote EDI in the HE and FE sector since 2004 both nationally and internationally. She previously managed the Equality Challenge Unit’s policy team and has worked as Policy Director at Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities (now Disability Rights UK) and in the governance division at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Residence & Campus Life Manager
,
University of Salford
Arron Pile
Arron is Residence & Campus Life Manager at the University of Salford. He has managed the support for LGB and Trans and Non-Binary students (as well as care experienced young people, estranged students, carers, sanctuary seekers and under eighteen students), into and through higher education at the University of Salford for the last twenty years.
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Workshop 6: From maternity to menopause: women's health in the hybrid workplace

There are a raft of issues particular to women’s health that until recently have been taboo subjects. As this topics open up in society, employers need to understand their obligations and find ways to support employees at every stage of their health journeys.

This session will look at the law, best practice and share ideas to improve workplace practices.

Partner
Claire Merritt
Claire is a employment law solicitor and partner at Paris Smith LLP. She has over a decade of experience in advising on employment law in various different context. Claire practices focuses on education and charities clients. She also advises on education law.
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Speakers

CEO of Working Families
Jane Van Zyl
Jane joined Working Families as CEO in September 2018. She has 14 years’ experience working in the third sector and has held senior leadership positions at a number of UK charities, including Samaritans and Sands.

Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development
,
Canterbury Christ Church University
Margaret
Margaret Ayers began her career in people and organisational development in the retail sector and she has held senior roles in four very different universities: Canterbury Christ Church; Edinburgh; Kent and Queen Mary University of London. Margaret was on the Board of the Equality Challenge Unit for six years and is a member of the Athena Swan Governance Committee and also one of the Vice-Chairs of Universities Human Resources supporting the development of HR professionals across the HE sector. She has really trained as an Executive Coach and is looking forward to developing her coaching skills further. Her main accomplishments are about creating meaningful people strategies that support organisations and the people who work in them.

Professor of Digital Rights
,
Bournemouth University
Professor Andy Phippen
Professor Andy Phippen is a Professor of Digital Rights at the Bournemouth University and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Suffolk in the UK.

Equalities Charter Manager
,
University of Bristol
Dr Caroline McKinnon
Dr Caroline McKinnon is the Equalities Charter Manager at the University of Bristol. Caroline started in the University as a Postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biochemistry and became the EDI Lead for the School and the Faculty of Life Sciences. Caroline joined the central EDI Team in April 2022 and led on the successful Silver Institutional Athena Swan application.
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Download programme

Download programme

Gender in HE Conference 2023 programme

Download
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