Senior women of colour network

Senior Women of Colour Network

Eligibility Criteria


To become a member of the Senior Women of Colour Network (SWOC), you must:


  • identify as a woman* of colour
  • be appointed in a senior position within a UK Higher Education provider (these positions typically include but are not limited to; Vice/Deputy/Pro Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating/Finance/People Officers, Director of Human Resources, Registrar).
  • be part of your institution’s executive leadership team
  • be an ex-officio member of the governing board/council
  • also be a member of the Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN)
  • be a champion of the network, identifying and supporting prospective members
  • complete the new members’ survey
  • embody the values that WHEN stands for, which are:


Inclusion - We are a space for all women*

We are different races, ages, roles, sexualities. Some of us are disabled, some of us are religious, some of us have children. We have different homelives, different roles, different levels of seniority. We take an intersectional approach and unite as women.

Respect - We value our differences

Our differences are our strength. Being open to sharing our backgrounds, experiences, approaches and opinions is essential. We don’t cast judgement, we listen.

Cohesion - We are strong and supportive

We seek to share, learn from and support one another. We are stronger, together.

Action - We go for it

We use initiative to get things moving and encourage others to do the same. We are busy professionals but will find time to focus on what is most important to us.


* Inclusive of cisgender women, trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community  



Submit an enquiry about joining the Senior Women of Colour (SWOC) network

We host a select networking space for the sector's most senior women of colour (SWOC) to unite in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. There are less than 25 women of colour in senior leadership roles in UK universities and this network was set up in the spirit of solidarity and ambition, to be change agents for equity within the sector. The network hosts spotlight sessions on aspects of university management, career development and social events.

The network currently comprises of Provosts, Deputy and Pro Vice-Chancellors, University Registrars, Chief People Officers and HR Directors.  It is co-chaired by Dr Zainab Khan (London Metropolitan University) and Professor Marcia Wilson (Open University).

If you are in a similar role, identify as a woman of colour and are part of your university’s senior executive leadership team, please enquire below.

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