Women in Academia
‘According to the Sex and Power Report for 2011 (EHRC, 2011), more than 5400 women are missing from Britain’s 26,000 most powerful posts and advancement to women’s equality in the workforce is ‘tortuously slow’. Higher education mirrors this pattern and women remain underrepresented in senior roles.’ So, what can we do about it?
Durham University is taking this issue extremely seriously and has initiated a variety of activities with the intent to challenge the status quo and influence cultural change at the institution to create a more diverse leadership model.
Networks have been developed to encourage open discussion around the issues affecting women within Higher Education, such as the Inspiring Women Network. Departments have developed their own networks; for example, Theology and Religion has the Café des Femmes, while Law has GLAD shops.
A specific Women in Academia Mentoring Programme is being piloted and an in-house coaching network has been developed providing 1:1 support.
Senior strategy events have provided a forum for open discussion around the issue facilitated by Jen de Vries, Optimising Faulty Performance: Maximising the Potential of Academic Women.
Durham is engaging with the Aurora programme, which has been developed by the Leadership foundation to support potential women leaders within HE.
A number of departments are working toward or have already achieved Athena Swan recognition.