The Power of Now

Are you ready to use the lessons you have learned during COVID-19 to accelerate equality in higher education?


Beginning on Monday 27th July

Spread over five days for optimal convenience and flexibility, join us for a practical exploration of intersectional themes related to women working in higher education. The online conference will explore key lessons for achieving a step change in progress, empowering you to achieve change for yourself and your institution. 

You will get:
Access to two live workshops of your choice  I  Keynote speeches  I  Pecha kucha  I  Panel discussions  I  Networking with like-minded women  I  Access to recordings of all sessions and workshops 

Are you ready to hear from amazing women just like yourself?

Speakers include:

Professor Uduak Archibong

Professor of Diversity, and Director of the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, University of Bradford

Dr Zainab Khan

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Outcomes & Inclusion), London Metropolitan University


Sam Smethers

Chief Executive, the Fawcett Society

Louise Goux-Wirth

Staff and Student Engagement Officer, University of the West of England

Registration is open, sign up now!

So if you are ready to:

  • Seize the moment and bring change to our sector.
  • Build your understanding of where we are now in terms of gender equality in higher education. Gain an intersectional view on gender equality. 
  • Be inspired by women sharing their stories of how they’ve achieved change for themselves, their teams and their institutions. 
  • Think differently, reimagine how we could realise change in light of Covid-19. 
  • Feel connected to our community of women in higher education. 
  • Meet like-minded women from across the sector, build your network.
  • Capture insights from our expert speakers and panel.
  • Identify practical actions to achieve positive change for you, your team and your institution.


Don’t wait until the price goes up! Sign up today and let’s work together towards equality.


Our plenary sessions

Conference opening

10.00 - 10.15, Monday 27th July 

Founder and CEO of WHEN, Alice Chilver will introduce WHEN, set the scene for the conference, welcome participants and explaining how the week will unfold. 

Keynote speeches

10.15 - 11.15, Monday 27th July 

 Professor Uduak Archibong and Sarah Guerra will deliver a joint key note: Where are we now: gender equity in higher education with an intersectional lens, followed by Q&A. 

Pecha kucha

11.00 - 12.00, Tuesday 28th July 

In this session entitled 'Step change: empowered to progress', six speakers will share their experiences of achieving change. They will share personal, team and institution wide perspectives. 

Panel discussion

12.00 - 13.00, Wednesday 29th July 

Our panel members will discuss 'Re-imagining change in the context of Covid-19'.  They will explore lessons that can be learnt from implementing systemic change during the pandemic that could be applied to achieve diversity and inclusion goals.


11.00 - 12.00, Friday 31st July

Yes, really! It's such an important part of the conference, we are going to do it online. You'll make new connections in this interactive session. 


Taking place throughout the day on Thursday 30th July, participants can attend up to two of the following workshops.

So many of us will be preparing for the next academic year with so much uncertainty. There is an opportunity for a fresh start, to refocus teams and establish new (better) ways of working. It is imperative to provide not just the right environment for staff to come back to but to also equip them with the tools and resources to flourish in the new normal.  This workshop will support you, as leaders, managers and team members to not only enable your staff and colleagues to come back to work but also equip them with the tools and resources to flourish in the new normal.

In this workshop we will discuss the Way power, Why power, Will power and the We power.

This session will be delivered by Dr Jummy Okoya, Associate Programme Leaders MSc HRM, University of East London School of Business and Law. 

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? Do you want to make a career change? Or are you seeking a new experience? Regardless of the direction you see your career taking, in today’s uncertain climate, you need to continue to actively manage it for long-term success. This session seeks to explore what you can do to reach your next career goal in uncertain times.

This session will be delivered by Sarah John, UK Higher Education and Joint Managing Partner UK, Perrett Lever

The session will introduce the concept of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) as a framework to define the internal and external conditions that affect organisations within an increasingly complex environment and factors that have contributed to an increasingly VUCA environment.

Explore how these challenges manifest in the workplace and within the Higher Education Sector and how participants can develop and hone skills needed for a VUCA world.

This session will be delivered by Opemipo Koshemani, HR Business Partner, UCL

Explore how personal resilience helps you, and your teams, embrace and optimise change in a sustainable manner, particularly when emerging from a crisis situation. In this interactive workshop you will:

  • Understand resilience, how it contributes to performance and our response to change
  • Assess your resilience, in order to build on your strengths
  • Identify your resilience zappers, in order to address them
  • Consider how to build resilience, and with it, enhanced performance AND greater fulfilment
  • Develop key actions for personal, team and organisational improvement

Delivered by Deborah Bulcock, Coach, Author, Nutritional Therapist,  Stress, Burnout & Resilience Expert


Our personal online presence is in the spotlight. When someone ‘googles’ your name, what would they find? What do people say about you when you’re not in the room? Why does either of these things matter?

Building your brand is critical in setting you apart from others in an increasingly transparent and interconnected world. Bloggers, artists, and public figures have long recognised the value and benefits of a personal brand to reach their goals. Your personal brand should help you to attract opportunities that correspond with your career ambitions and interests. This session will explore the concept of the personal brand, how to build yours and how to communicate it within the context of working within Higher Education.

This workshop will be delivered by Kate Hunter, Joint Head, UK Higher Education and Global Head, Philanthropy, Communications and Engagement, Perrett Lever


Careers today are characterised by change, ambiguity and possibility. A one size fits all successful career has disappeared and our jobs now give us the opportunity to learn, explore and experiment. This is a fast paced and action focused introduction to squiggly careers: what they are, why they matter and actions you can take to kick-start your self development and learning. 

Participants will explore:

  • How to make sure your strengths stand out and show up 
  • Using your values as a career compass 
  • Actions for building long term confidence 
  • Building a network by focusing on what you can give 
  • Moving from career plans to exploring possibilities

The session will be delivered by Sarah Ellis, Co-founder, Amazing If.

Artists and activists have used photography as a political tool as well as a method of self-exploration. By taking control of the camera, photographers can create visual stories of underrepresented experiences and perspectives, with the potential of challenging dominant ways of viewing. Based upon this rationale and the feminist notion ‘the personal is political’, the workshop facilitates auto-photography, a practice that incorporates self-imaging and self-reflection, to explore our experiences of working through the Covid-19 pandemic. How does one cope – or not – with the personal and professional challenges? How have issues of gender and intersectional inequalities been heightened, and how do we move forward?

Before the workshop, you will receive a simple guideline to play with auto-photography in your own time and space. The workshop will aim to provide a supportive and respectful environment for participants to share images and stories, so we can reflect upon ideas together, starting a conversation about how we might find connections and offer solidarity to each other at this challenging time.

The workshop will be delivered by Dr Evangeline Tsao, Gender Equality Research Fellow, Centre for Women's Studies, University of York.

Male allies are a common discussion point at WHEN. How do we best engage with men who want to support the speeding up of gender equality? In this session we will hear from UCL's President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur as he reflects on the practical actions he has taken which have transformed gender diversity at UCL.

In this interactive workshop you will:

  • Hear the first hand experiences of a male leader supporting gender equality and implementing change
  • Consider the reality of speeding up change 
  • Assess your options, in order to influence change
  • Develop key actions for personal, team and organisational improvement

This workshop will be delivered by Professor Michael Arthur, President & Provost, UCL and Alice Chilver, CEO & Founder, WHEN

Meet our speakers

Professor Uduak Archibong

Professor of Diversity, and Director of the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, University of Bradford

Dr Zainab Khan

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Outcomes & Inclusion), London Metropolitan University


Professor Helen Higson

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Aston University 

Sam Smethers

Chief Executive, the Fawcett Society

Louise Goux-Wirth

Staff and Student Engagement Officer, University of the West of England

Professor Michael Arthur

President and Provost, UCL

Dr Jummy Okoya

Associate Programme Leaders MSc HRM, University of East London

Dr Clare Stainthorp

Early Career Researcher and Research Impact Officer, UCL

Eleanor Draycott

Head of Customer Experience & Service Delivery, University of Reading

Dr Evangeline Tsao

Research Fellow, University of York

Professor Nelarine Cornelius

Professor of Organisation Studies, Queen Mary, University of London.

Kate Hunter

Joint Head, UK Higher Education and Global Head, Philanthropy, Communications and Engagement, Perrett Lever

Lindsay Nicholson MBE

Council Member, UCL

Deborah Bulcock

Coach, mentor, author, nutritional therapist and business leader

Sarah John

Joint Head, UK Higher Education and Joint Managing Partner, UK, Perrett Lever

Sarah Ellis

Co-founder, Amazing If

Opemipo Koshemani

HR Business Partner, UCL

Sarah Guerra

Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Kings College London

Alice Chilver

Founder and CEO, WHEN

Alisha Airey

BAME Project Officer, University of the West of England

Dr Joanna Berry

Associate Professor (Entrepreneurship) and Director, Business Enterprise and Innovation, Durham Energy Institute, Durham University

Dr Jenna Townend

Senior Projects Officer, Human Resources and Organisational Development, Loughborough University

Vani Naik

Doctoral Researcher, Loughborough University


Because of the exceptional circumstances, this year's conference will take place entirely online. Although we will miss the opportunity to get together in person, there are a number of reasons why we are really looking forward to delivering this online.

  1. The event is easier to access for participants from all over the UK. 
  2. There are no travel costs.
  3. Participants don't need to be away from family for a long day or overnight.
  4. There are no venue and catering costs, and therefore the ticket prices can be far lower than usual: £38 - £78, rather than £95 - £295.
  5. There will be minimal carbon footprint.

Join professionals from across the higher education sector keeping up to date with WHEN's latest news and events.

Help to speed up equality.


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