Here's what we covered this year

This year's conference was delivered online and spread over five days

Conference opening

10.00 - 10.15, Monday 13th June

Founder and CEO of WHEN, Alice Chilver introduced WHEN, set the scene for the conference, welcomed participants and explained how the week will unfold. 

Keynote speeches

10.15 - 11.45, Monday 13th June

Our keynote speakers explored 'Hidden strengths: the challenges women face and recognised how overcoming them makes us stronger', followed by Q&A. 

Panel discussion

11.00 - 12.30, Tuesday 14th June

Our incredible panel members discussed 'Biology's burden'.  They explored the challenges that make women stronger.   

Pecha Kucha

12.00 - 13.00, Wednesday 15th June

In the fast paced setup of our pecha kucha 'Unapologetically women', we were inspired by stories of unapologetic women in quick succession.

Online Workshops

10.00 - 17.00, Thursday 16th June

13 workshops throughout the day on the topics of about exploring and overcoming challenges to recognise our individual and collective strength.

See the Workshop Timetable

Strength in Community

14.00 - 15.00, Friday 17th June

we made new connections in this interactive session.

WHEN Workshops on Thursday 16th June

Here's what took place:

This workshop will be suitable for all women (straight, gay, trans and non-binary) whether they have started on fertility journeys of their own, or may do in the future as well as anyone who wants to learn how to better understand and support colleagues.

Fiona has a passion to improve fertility support in the workplace after her own 15-year fertility journey. With first-hand experience of almost all fertility treatment, her wonderful daughter was finally born out of a surrogacy arrangement in Georgia in 2018.

Fiona's fertility journey was full of challenges and she found it incredibly difficult to combine work and fertility treatment. It tested her, her partner, their families and wider support network. Fiona clearly remembers those employers who supported her journey and the positive difference that made as well as those who didn't. She realised this needed to change and it became her focus to try and improve infertility care in the workplace and help create inclusive cultures where everyone could be supported on their family and career goals. Fiona re-trained as a Life Coach and NLP practitioner specialising in fertility and is a regular speaker for The Fertility Show and the Diversity and Inclusion Network. 

In an age of inclusion, where no question is off-limits, this workshop aims to improve the experiences of those employees who are currently on their own fertility journeys, those who may be in the future, and those who work with them. 

Workshop Facilitator: Fiona Skinner, Founder and CEO, The Fertility Coaching Company

Fiona's mission is to improve fertility care in the workplace. She is passionate about educating employers and individuals about how to support individuals on challenging fertility journeys in the workplace. Together with her co-founder Bryony Clark they have developed the UK's first CPD accredited fertility awareness training program. Fiona believes that together we can make a positive difference to the lives of women by understanding and supporting fertility and family journeys as part of an inclusive workplace. 


This workshop explores what is important to us and how we can achieve greater satisfaction. This interactive workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to consider their own personal values, and what this might mean in terms of how they live their lives and go about their work.

This workshop has been adapted from a programme run at the University of Cambridge to support and embed Professional Services staff values of trust, respect, integrity and collaboration.

Workshop Facilitators: Jenny Rampling & Freya Villis, Cambridge University

Jenny Rampling is Chair of the University of Cambridge Women’s Staff Network and Senior Programme Coordinator at ‘ourcambridge’. With over fifteen years’ experience of working in the higher education sector, she has led departments in student recruitment, student advice, and student services. As an experienced manager in driving forward change in both strategic and operational delivery, she is currently part of the ‘Cambridge Works’ project team, responsible for developing hybrid ways of working at the University. She is passionate about supporting women to reach their career goals and is an active member of the University’s mentoring programme.. Twitter: @JennyRampling

Freya Villis currently works for the University of Cambridge on a programme to recognise and realise professional services staff. She is currently leading a number of initiatives around mentoring, staff review and development, career pathways, values and recognition. Freya's background is in postgraduate administration; she managed a postgraduate office in the Faculty of Education for over ten years before leading a project to boost postgraduate student recruitment. Having worked on a number of University wide initiatives, she is passionate about collaboration and breaking down silos. She also has a keen interest in change management, staff development, leadership, and building effective teams. Freya has two teenage children so understands the challenges of being a working Mum and loves to network with other women and share experiences.

Is the very notion of imposter syndrome doing us a disservice. Would be be better off to reject the concept or does recognising its existence help us to rationalise our feelings? In this workshop, Adele will explore the concept of Imposter Syndrome and offer a view of how we can rise above its limitations. 

Workshop Facilitator: Adèle MacKinlay, Manchester University 

Having a delayed start to her career, Yasmin joined the sector and grew her career within one institution for 14 years. In this personal workshop, Yasmin shares her story of determination, growth and achievement (in my words, not hers). Her story will inspire and empower you and she'll invite you to reflect on your own story, owning it with pride. 

Workshop Facilitator: Yasmin Ali, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

A bit of stress is good for us, because it motivates us to get things done.  When stress becomes out of control, that's when our mental health and wellbeing start to suffer.  When does stress become challenging and associated with anxiety in women?  How can you recognise the signs of stress in yourself?  In this talk, Dr. Olivia Remes, will reveal the key to this, and will teach the audience actionable strategies for taking better care of ourselves as women when the stress gets to be too much - it will show how you can feel in greater control and get closer to the life you want with evidence based on research.  We can't take care of other people (whether it's our students, staff, family) until we take care of ourselves first, and this talk will also show you how to bring that balance back into your life. 

Workshop Facilitator: Dr Olivia Remes, University of Cambridge

Dr Remes is an author, coach and mental health researcher, who,  for the past 10 years has examined anxiety, depression, and wellbeing/resilience at the University of Cambridge. Her work has been featured by the BBC.

Find out more about Dr Reme's book 'Instant Mood Fix'

Fiona is passionate about helping women with issues such as PMS, menopause, PCOS, endometriosis and fibroids to help them feel their best.  Fiona’s journey into nutrition started in 2008 when she was diagnosed with stage 3 endometriosis after trying to conceive for 18 months.  “I was told that there was nothing I could do to help my condition and it was that that spurred me into thinking I’m not sure I believe that!”  Fiona then started to research into nutrition and lifestyle and she discovered that there was a lot that she could do to help her condition. She needed to know more so she enrolled with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Manchester to study Nutritional Therapy and qualified in 2018. 

Workshop Facilitator: Fiona Hutchison, Nutritional Therapist

This highly participative discussion group led by Jenny Rampling, will focus on career progression and debate questions that were raised in a WHEN article - The Only Way is Up?. Is it every woman’s dream to move upwards, in pursuit of title, income and status? Should success be measured in such a linear way? Why is it seen as important to reach the heights of senior management to be considered a success story? Has the pandemic changed the way we value work? This session will invite attendees to share their thoughts and reflections on these questions and meet new colleagues.


Workshop facilitator: Jenny Rampling is Chair of the University of Cambridge Women’s Staff Network and Senior Programme Coordinator at ‘ourcambridge’. With over fifteen years’ experience of working in the higher education sector, she has led departments in student recruitment, student advice, and student services. As an experienced manager in driving forward change in both strategic and operational delivery, she is currently part of the ‘Cambridge Works’ project team, responsible for developing hybrid ways of working at the University. She is passionate about supporting women to reach their career goals and is an active member of the University’s mentoring programme.

Do the ways we define ourselves help or hinder us?  Do they help us understand who we are, or do they create a “them and us” mindset that leads to conflict?  How can we ensure that what we do is inclusive of everyone affected, and avoid further marginalising those already on the periphery?  This interactive workshop session aims to help us think about these issues and challenge our preconceptions.

Workshop Facilitator: Mx David Wilson

David is a queer activist and the Trans and Non-binary Lead for Loughborough University’s LGBT+ Staff Network. They are a member of Loughborough’s women’s network, Maia, and work closely with them to foster understanding and allyship between the intersecting communities. They initiated Loughborough’s LGBT+ Awareness professional development course, which educates staff on the breadth and complexity of gender identity and sexuality, and have so far delivered this to around 400 staff. David is also a member of Loughborough’s Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is particularly interested in EDI initiatives focusing on education and cultural change. They have a passion for questioning crude categorisation and embracing nuance and complexity.

This session shares survivor stories from Dr Rima Hussein and Dr Imane El Hakimi's research project and the journey through the English family law system for those that have suffered domestic abuse. It highlights the bright spots, learning and power of hope and solidarity. Join them to witness the light that can be found in dark places and the activism that continues for survivors as they work on changing the system.

Workshop Facilitators: Dr Rima Hussein and Dr Imane El Hakimi, Northumbria University

Dr Rima Hussein is Senior Lecturer in organisation studies in the Leadership and Human Resource Management department of Newcastle Business School and the Faculty Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria University. Her research expertise centres on gender equality, lived experiences and justice.

Dr Imane El Hakimi is Senior Lecturer. She joined Northumbria University in 2015 and holding PhD in international management from Plymouth University. Areas of interest have recently extended from cross cultural studies, IHRM, trust, family businesses to a wider interdisciplinary research mainly around women's studies and domestic abuse.

WHEN are really pleased to offer a really special taster session of yoga techniques.  The session will include office friendly yoga related movement tailored for everyone, mindfulness and meditation practice and a short creative fun writing exercise for self enquiry. The Yoga and Meditation part can be done either seated or laying, tailoring to peoples location

Workshop Facilitator: Charlotte Nolan,  

Charlotte is an experienced Yoga and Meditation teacher and creative mentor.  She specialises in combining Vinyasa Flow and Restorative Yoga sessions with mindfulness practices such as meditation and Yoga Nidra relaxation. All of this is weaved in with self enquiry reflective writing sessions, to explore the inner journey and journey of creativity.

This session will discuss a woman's appearance in the workplace. Does what a woman wears or how she makes herself up have an impact on who and how she is received in the workplace. Should a women conform her appearance to the standards of the environment or should the environment conform to each women's individual appearance?

Workshop facilitator: Lisa Dash-Grimes

Lisa Dash-Grimes is the Sr. Director, Talent Strategy for Pace University, New York. She has been a talent acquisition professional for over 25 years in a variety of industries which include hospitality, retail and higher education. Lisa is also an adjunct professor teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of leadership, organizational behavior, management and recruitment & staffing. A Senior-level talent strategist with extensive expertise identifying, leading, and gaining buy-in for change to transform talent acquisition teams into highly efficient, candidate-centric operations. Track record of excellence in challenging and transforming recruiting environments to become superior talent partners to their leadership teams.

Intersectionality, what does this actually mean and how does it feel to be intersectional? We are all women, but what do we have in common? Not one black woman's story is the same, not one gay woman's story is the same. Same but different, making sense of it all with Doyin, Programme Lead for WHEN's 100 Black Women Professors NOW programme. 

Workshop Facilitator: Doyin Atewologun, Oxford University 

Over the last while we could all be forgiven for forgetting the simple but powerful gifts that we inherently have. To smile, laugh, breathe, relate, and have fun! Gifts when utilised make our own and others around us easier and more successful. In this Joyworks workshop we will embrace them, share them and have a riot! 

You’ll learn that laughing at work is seriously no joke! You’ll leave feeling celebrated, energised and positive with lots of practical take-aways on how you can improve well-being for yourself and others. Taking part in this upbeat, interactive, and truly memorable event you’ll leave filled with joy and inspired to do things differently.

Come with an open heart and ready to play. Come laugh like you’ve never laughed before for laughter truly is the best....... medicine!!

Workshop facilitator: Sharon Miller, Founder, Joyworks

Joyworks celebrated its 14th Anniversary in March. Through Joyworks Sharon excels at bringing organisations and individuals across the globe out of their comfort zone and into fun, laughter, and wellness in a very short space of time. Sharon has over 30 years’ experience in the arts, education, and rehabilitation. She trained personally in India with the founder of laughter yoga, Dr Kataria, and has won a Social Enterprise Award. In 2020 Sharon nearly died from Covid and spent seventeen months in deep Ayurveda healing. Indeed, it has made the Joyworks! mission and message even more prevalent.

Meet our incredible line-up of speakers

Prof. Dawn Edge

Professor of Mental Health and Inclusivity, University of Manchester

Fiona Hutchison

Nutritional Therapist specialising in female hormone balance

Prof. Sue Black OBE

Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, Durham University

Alice Chilver

Founder and CEO, WHEN and Head of People and Organisational Development, Oxford University

Adèle MacKinlay

Director of People and Organisational Development,  Manchester University 

Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE

Business leader and active campaigner for gender equality

David Wilson

Trans and Non-binary Lead for Loughborough University’s LGBT+ Staff Network

Makeda Alleyne

Transformational speaker and trainer

Dr Doyin Atewologun

Dean, Rhodes Scholarship, Oxford University and Founder Delta Alpha Psi

Fiona Skinner

Founder of The Fertility Coaching Company

Maria Hussain

Lecturer, Faculty International Tutor and Co Chair of the Muslim staff Network, Leeds University 

Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen

Assistant Vice President (EDI- Race Equality), City University of London

Prof. Sarah Pedersen

Professor of Communication and Media, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen

Dr Jess Wade

Research Fellow, Imperial College London, Campaigner tackling bias on Wikipedia

Rosie Fean

Change Manager, and Chair of the Women's Network, Greenwich University 

Jenny Rampling

Chair of the Women’s Network and Senior Programme Coordinator, University of Cambridge

Dr Jenna Townend

Strategic Change Programme Manager, Loughborough University

Kate Faxen

Head of Employee Experience, UCL 

Lisa Dash-Grimes

Sr. Director, Talent Strategy and Adjunct Professor Lubin School of Business, Pace University

Dr Rima Hussein

Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University 

Dr Olivia Remes

Author, life coach and Programme Director, University of Cambridge

Freya Villis

Senior Programme Coordinator, University of Cambridge

Melody Stephen

General Secretary and Chair of the Board of trustees, University of Manchester SU

Charlotte Nolan

Yoga & Meditation specialist and creative mentor

Sharon Miller

Founder, Joyworks

Dr Imane El Hakimi

Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University

Questions and answers

Do I have to be a WHEN member to attend? 

No, the conference is open to any woman who works in higher education. 

Do I have to be a woman to attend? 

All women including trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community are welcome to attend. This conference is not aimed at men. 

What does my ticket cover?

All tickets include access to: keynotes on Monday; panel session on Tuesday; pecha kucha on Wednesday; workshops on Thursday and the community event on Friday.

Can I buy tickets for just one day?

Tickets can only be purchased for the entire event week.

How do I access the online sessions?

You will be emailed a link to the conference portal page on Monday 6th June, or immediately if you purchase your ticket after that. The page will have links to each session. 

When will the recordings be available?

Each recorded session will be uploaded to the conference recordings area the same day. You will automatically get access to this when you purchase your ticket.

How many workshops can I attend?

You are welcome to attend as many workshops as you would like subject to availability. Workshops will take place on Thursday between 10am – 5pm.  Some workshops may overlap. Some workshops will have limited capacity and attendance will be granted on a first come first serve basis on the day. 

More questions or if you need support / during the conference 

Please contact [email protected]

Countdown to the WHEN Unapologetically Women Conference 2022









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*WHEN we refer to women, we include trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community


Access conference recordings 

We are recording the entire conference. So if you weren't able to join us for the live event, you can still access all of the content. Shall we let you know when it's ready?