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Teaching and Learning Conference 2021

February - How has Covid-19 impacted on gender equality in HE?

Examining the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality in HE

February’s Connect Benefit Series theme will examine the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality in HE. As the sector has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to deal with the on-going challenges, there is a risk that insufficient time to take stock and reflect has been allowed and the knock on effect on equality in particular may mean a slowdown in progress made to date, or even worse a regression. Are there elements of the response to the pandemic that have the potential to advance gender equality in the longer term? What has inhibited or regressed gender equality and what could the sector do differently?

Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted on gender equality in higher education. Academics frequently work from home but many women academics report their workloads having increased with the shift to online learning and their research productivity being impacted . WHEN Equality conducted a survey for women working in professional and services areas and its findings are in line with those of the Fawcett Society, in that women have borne the brunt of domestic and caring responsibilities, in particular women who identify as Black, Asian and minority ethnic. We also know that women are also more likely to lose their jobs and feel less secure in their employment.

While the sector needs to recognise the impact Covid-19 has had on gender equality, in order to appropriately support its staff and students, it is important that we do not overlook the progress made prior to Covid-19 nor the opportunities that could arise from the changes that the pandemic has made to how we work and communicate. In February we will be publishing the Aurora review which draws upon 5 years of the Aurora programme and the results of our survey on remote working. What challenges remain pertinent for HEIs in their support for Aurorians and women staff generally and are there new opportunities for catalysing gender equality?  

The outputs planned should result in the following outcomes: 

  • Greater understanding of the intersectional impacts of Covid-19 on gender equality.
  • Policy makers in HE and Advance HE itself have a deeper understanding of the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality. 
  • A better understanding of how the sector can improve its support for staff who continue to work from home or remotely 
  • Increased awareness of the Aurora longitudinal study outcomes and the challenges that still remain for members in supporting women’s career progression. 

The Connect Benefit Series is an Advance HE member benefit and is open to colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. Information on Advance HE membership can be found via the link below. 

Advance HE Membership - find out more

Global roundtable on gender equality in higher education 

Our February online roundtable event will bring together senior representatives from the HE sector globally to deepen our understanding of the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality for staff in higher education and to start to identify actions that have sought to reduce its impact. Following the event, key findings and outcomes will be published.

This event takes place on 18 February at 16:00 GMT. To register your interest in attending please click the link below.  

Register your interest

Tweet chat - 24 February 2021

As part of our February Connect Benefit Series, Ellen Pugh and Cindy Vallance considered the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on gender equality in higher education and asked what changes we can enact to support students and staff to ensure that HE learns from and emerges stronger from this crisis. #AdvanceHE_chat #LTHEChat

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Related events, services and resources

Below you will find information on Advance HE services and resources which relate to the member benefits listed above. 

Longitudinal report highlights the impact of Aurora – Advance HE's leadership development initiative for women

Summary report highlights Aurorans’ positive perceptions of the effects of the programme on their motivation to seek leadership roles, people skills for leadership and proactive career management.

Find out more
Aurorans

Call for papers: Gender Equality Colloquium: Advancing gender and sex equality through research design

Deadline: midnight, 4 March 2021

This colloquium invites participants to share how they, their department or their institution have sought to embed consideration of sex and gender in research design. It will offer insights about these issues as well as examples and ideas for evolving the consideration of diversity.

We are inviting colleagues to submit an abstract for either a 20-minute presentation or a 40-minute workshop.

Submit your abstract

EDI Conference 2021: Courageous conversations and adventurous approaches: Creative thinking in tackling inequality

Date: 16-18 March 2021

Through forecasting emerging equality, diversity and inclusion topics and priorities in the sector, the conference will create space for reflection and capacity-building through exploring two sub-themes: ‘courageous conversations’ and ‘adventurous approaches’. It will dig deep to explore hidden and emerging EDI issues, and highlight the best examples of creative, courageous interventions that are contributing to change

Find out more
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Equality, diversity and inclusion support for institutions

We support institutions to tackle inequalities and implement strategies to promote and enhance gender equality.
Find out more
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Addressing bullying and harassment

Advance HE has developed an offer to help institutions in addressing bullying and harassment, promoting dignity and respect and building inclusive culture
Find out more
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Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme 

Explore the contemporary contexts and challenges of being a female senior leader. Starts: 17 May 2021

Our Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme is one of our women-only programmes designed specifically for women in senior positions in HE to help them take the next step up or extend their role, profile and impact. It aims to create more gender parity in senior leadership within higher education.

Find out more
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Athena Swan Charter

Encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing gender equality. The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. 

Find out more
Athena Swan

Advance HE Connect

Advance HE Connect our online network that is open to all those who work in HE providing a space where the sector can share, connect and collaborate in one place with 20,000 HE peers from 100 countries around the globe. The platform features special interest groups, events and collaborative projects. 

Join or login now
Advance HE Connect

Our monthly newsletter contains the latest news from Advance HE, updates from around the sector, links to articles sharing knowledge and good practice and information on our services and upcoming events. Don't miss out, sign up to our newsletter now.

Sign up now
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Global roundtable - register your interest

Enter your details below to register your interest in attending our member benefit global roundtable event on gender equality in higher education, taking place on 18 February at 16:00 GMT.

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