WHEN's Blog

A selection of insightful pieces from women working across the higher education sector

Gender Equality Publication: Inside the Ivory Tower

Inside the Ivory Tower
Narratives of women of colour surviving and thriving in British Academia

This publication generates voice and visibility for the lived experiences of women of colour and seeks to inform policy and practice around race and gender equality in higher education. Find out about the strategies that women of colour have had to develop to be successful in academia, which is a space dominated primarily by whiteness and patriarchy.

Author / Editor Dr Deborah Gabriel and Shirley Anne Tate
Published November 2017

Gender - like other facets of identity have always been approached institutionally from a monocultural standpoint, through essentialised categories that make up 'protected' characteristics within equality and diversity policy. This has contributed to the exclusion,...

Continue Reading...

Enterprise, gender and rules of the game

By Holly Campbell, UCL

Historically, the concept of ‘enterprise’ has been typically associated with and ascribed to the realm of men. It lies with socially constructed gendered binaries of rationality, public spaces, and economics. Women, on the other hand, have been deemed to only exist in spaces of the home/ private / domestic. This forms what might be called the ‘rules of the game’.

Whilst in England we may feel that the majority of these stereotypes have now broken down, in many places they are still upheld to be true. In Turkey, where I spent my summer of 2016 doing dissertation research, women’s economic activity ranked 206th among the 215 countries listed in UN statistics in 2009.

I was intrigued by this, as I had noticed on one of my frequent...

Continue Reading...

A career based on careful decisions for the here, the now and the future

by Kay Biscomb, Associate Dean Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton 

I have worked in Education all of my professional career and in HE for the last 22 years. Very little of my career has been in response to a mapped out strategic plan but rather best described as careful decisions made for the here and now and the immediate future.  I trained as a secondary school teacher and very early on decided that I would rather teach adults. That I knew would require me to have further degrees and I gained my first masters which was subject specific from Warwick University.  In order to pragmatically achieve this I took a 0.1 redundancy from my employer and studied on a full-time programme whilst working almost full-time. I...

Continue Reading...

Where are all the BME women? My hopes for the sector and my own career

By Shanaz Durrant, Human Resources Administrator, UCL

At the start of her career in higher education, Shanaz considers what opportunities lay ahead of her and how she perceives the leadership positions. Shanaz also explores ideas for action - what can be done?

On the 27th March 2018, I was privileged to attend the first ever WHEN conference created and presented by Alice Chilver - and what an amazing day it turned out to be!

I was very impressed at the turn out and how much work Alice had put into putting this all together and the theme of the conference ‘Eliminating the Gender Pay Gap in Higher Education’ was an extremely topical subject to cover with the Gender Pay gap being a focal point in current affairs.

As I arrived, I had an opportunity to meet Thalia...

Continue Reading...

Building Women’s networks

 By Madiha Sajid

One of WHEN’s founding principles is to support women across the higher education sector through bringing them together. And one of the most effective ways we can think of doing that, is by supporting our members in their existing university women’s networks and where those don’t exist, by supporting our members to establish and effectively run them.

Our next WHEN face-to-face event will be our Network of Networks event in January (the first meeting of all women involved in leading networks for women in their own universities).

To launch this idea and promote discussion amongst our members, we hosted our first webinar focusing on building women’s networks in universities, hearing from members of successful networks from across the UK.


Continue Reading...

Who am I supposed to be?

Written by an anonymous research manager (professional services) at a Russell Group University


Recent controversy and focus on gender issues in the workplace, the disparity with pay between genders in addition to the new D word – diversity, has suddenly made me feel very exposed.

In academia, surrounded by a wealth of hard working and intelligent colleagues, you feel inspired but also insecure that you are not contributing enough as others. The feeling to always prove your worth never leaves your side and is a small voice that unfortunately grows as you grow too.

Just being grateful

Growing up as a woman but also tangled with an ethnic background and faith has made each of my accomplishments feel like they should be one of gratitude rather than elation. Gratitude that I...

Continue Reading...

An unequal world contributing to gender inequality? by Dr. Juliette Torabian

Juliette is senior international adviser/trainer in strategic planning and results-based project management working at University College London.
She is an education specialist whose activities have focused on three main themes:
  • Int'l project management,
  • Capacity development,
  • Public relations
Her research/professional interests include:
  • Public Policy,
  • Higher education policies,
  • Governance, quality and practices,
  • Adult learning/teaching; sustainable development,
  • Gender equality and Human Rights; comparative Int'l education.

Gender gaps persist

The adamant character of gender inequalities find their deep roots in religious texts and discourses that are inseparably woven into the fabric of cultural norms and sometimes in the economic and political institutions of the patriarchal and...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.