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Advance HE hosts special event for women completing the latest Aurora leadership development programme

22 Mar 2023 | Advance HE They discuss their Future in HE and share best practice with colleagues across the sector

More than 200 women from across Higher Education took part in a special networking event to complete  Advance HE’s leadership development programme for women  Aurora.

The women have been participants in one of seven Aurora cohorts for 2022/23 and were attending the first in a series of networking days being staged in Edinburgh, Dublin, Cardiff Birmingham and Leeds.

Your Future in HE includes a panel of experts discussing ‘The Future of HE’ followed by a question and answer session , with participants spending plenty of time deciphering the next steps in their leadership journey and networking.

Promotion chances

“Women who have taken part in Aurora are more than twice as likely to be promoted after the programme than those who haven’t,” said Steve Lloyd, Advance HE’s Assistant Director for Delivery Services “Recent research shows that 66 per cent of Aurora participants had applied for a promotion after the programme with 83 per cent being successful and 68 per cent of those successful applicants agreeing that Aurora had impacted the success of their application.”

“Since its launch in 2012, more than 9,500 women from 200 higher education institutions have taken part in the Aurora and we know from our follow-up research the real impact it can have on their future careers.”

Unique partnership

 The Aurora programme is a unique partnership that brings together leadership experts, higher education providers and research institutes to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector.

The majority of the delivery of Aurora remains online in 2022-23 with participants attending the Your Future in HE face-to-face event at the end.


Three women with Aurora name tags smile at the camera


Pictured from left to right are: Caroline Bearpark, E-Learning Co-ordinator for Sunderland University, Manesha Peiris, Lecturer in Post-graduate Business Studies for Sunderland University, and Nunzia Limongelli, HR Recruitment Manager, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Manesha said: “The programme has been a wonderful way of networking and getting to know different women in different roles and institutions. We’ve learned so much from each other and also become each other’s own biggest cheerleaders which has been a beautiful thing.”

Woman and child with Advance HE backdrop

Lola Madrid-Castillo, Associate Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health in Low Income Countries for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, attended the event with her young son Juan.

She lives in Ethiopia and has been accessing the programme from there, as well as from Cordoba in Spain where she went to give birth.

She said: “The programme has given me the chance to take time out from my day job to truly think about myself and my career.

“It’s enabled me to expand my network, to meet women from different fields and to learn new strategies to upgrade my leadership skills and the way I work with stakeholders.

“It’s also given me strategies for how I should be promoting myself and my work, something that’s very important to me because I work so far from the majority of my colleagues within my institution and my focus is very much teaching.”


We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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