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Gender Equality in Higher Education

Development designed to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education
Early bird offer 2021-22

New Gender Equality in Higher Education events portfolio for 2021-22

Download your copy of our new Gender Equality in Higher Education events portfolio for 2021-22

Encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing gender equality in HE. *Book before 30 September for a 10% Early Bird discount on selected programmes and events.

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Advance HE Gender Equality in Higher Education programmes and events brochure for 2021–22

The Advance HE annual staff and student statistical report shows a larger proportion of women than men worked in professional and support roles, worked part-time, on fixed-term contracts, and in lower salary bands. Gender pay gaps remain highest among academic staff, though were still evident among professional and support staff. 

Our portfolio supports the encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education.  

Our services are built on a legacy of expertise in gender equality, drawing from our leadership of the Athena Swan Charter, championing women’s leadership development, including Aurora, equal pay and supporting the extension of women represented on university boards – all to encourage and support change across the sector. 



Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2022

This conference will focus on ensuring that approaches to EDI work for all and addressing current and future challenges and opportunities.
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Women in HE

Gender in Higher Education Conference 2022

This one-day conference will bring together higher education experts in gender equality to consider how further progression can be made to address the continuing presence of those factors contributing to the inequality of women.
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Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme

Developing female senior leaders

The under-representation of women in senior posts in institutions remains a significant concern, despite the improving outlook at executive and board levels in recent years. The Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme is a unique programme which combines technical knowledge of finance and governance that senior leaders require with crucial leadership skills linked to navigating organisational politics and creating powerful narrative for influence and strategic impact. 

It is 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 throughout higher education. 

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Gender Equality Colloquium: Advancing gender and sex equality through research design - 15 July 2021

This colloquium will investigate why you should seek to embed considerations of sex and gender in research design and how you can start thinking about this by asking certain questions in the initial stages of planning your research. The event will offer insights about these issues as well as examples and ideas for evolving the consideration of diversity in research design by drawing on practical examples from a range of different discipline areas.

Keynote speakers and sessions

Gendered Innovations - Why do we need to consider gender in research design? Professor Londa Schiebinger, Director, Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment, Stanford University

Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director, Portia (UK and Germany) and Lillian Hunt, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Science and Health Programme Lead at the Wellcome Trust.

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Women in HE


8,300+ women from nearly 200 different institutions have participated in Aurora since its launch in 2013 with our research showing that Aurorans are twice as likely to get promoted.

Aurora is a leadership ignition journey, inspiring women to aspire and achieve leadership positions within higher education (HE). Aurora, via an unique partnership of leadership experts and HE institutions, takes positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector. Delivered virtually, Aurora consists of an introductory webinar, four core development days, two action learning sets and a series of Coffee and Connect online networking sessions, Watch Parties and special events.

Find out more about how Aurora works
New to HE

Aurora case studies and stories

In partnership with the Brunel University, Robert Gordon University, University College Dublin, and the University of Edinburgh, we have created four institutional case studies to share learning and insight from participating in Aurora; Aurora institutional case studies.

Athena Swan

Encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing gender equality.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used around the world to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the charter is
now used globally to advance gender equality (not just women’s equality) within all academic subject areas. The framework has recently been transformed to enhance the systems and processes that underpin the UK Charter to ensure it is fit for the future of the UK HE sector.

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News, views and resources


Strange times indeed

01 Jun 2020 | Suzanne O'Brien
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