WomenEd Blogs

Representation Blogs from WomenEd

The Promise of Sisterhood #EmbraceEquity #IWD2023

By Kiran Satti  @KSunray3 'Intersectional feminism centres the voices of those experiencing overlapping, concurrent forms of oppression in order to understand the depths of the inequalities and the relationships among them in any given context.' UN Women, 2020 Intersectional Feminism at its core invites connectedness. However, there is an hist...

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Accessibility for all #WomenEdTech

By Sammy White @WhatTheTrigMath "All technology is assistive technology." Carol Allen's words are ringing in my ears from this #EdTech Show from last year hosted by Bukky Yusuf.  All technology assists us, makes things easier, that's why we use it.  Some technology, though, is essential for some users. For example, text to speech software...

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Careers awareness in primary schools: Putting the ‘Ed’ in #EdTech. #WomenEdTech

by Lou Doyle @LouiseMesma Whilst the statistics vary depending on the source you use and the definition of what sits in the 'digital' sector, women make up approximately a quarter of the workforce. Even less in leadership roles. Overall, the pace of progress to close the gap is at a snail's pace. Yet we have the inverse of that figure in the educat...

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New Year, New #WomenEdTech - Finding a Safe Space for all Women in EdTech

by Bukky Yusuf @rondelle10_b and Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach Who We Are, by Bukky Yusuf In 2013, when I started my whole school leadership role, enhancing teaching and learning using mobile devices, I looked to connect with other educators that had current #EdTech (Educational Technology) experiences.  However, I struggled to find women worki...

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I’ve got a seat for you at the table. I will get you a chair. #SeatAtTheTable

by Kerry Jordan Daus @KerryJordanDaus The 3rd Annual Unconference of #WomenEd is set to excite, challenge and enthuse us all. I am taking a moment, a space, to reflect on Shirley Chisholm's words and the provocation for our weekend: "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair". What does that mean to me? This is timely, as I ...

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What would you do with your seat at the table? #SeatAtTheTable

by Dr Kate Bridge     @KateBridge19 As a female Head of Physics, I am often on my own at the table when mixing with other Physics departments in education.  Society would draw Dr Bridge as a white-haired male in the latter stages of life who is crazy for mathematical differentials. That is definitely not the box I fit in. I am a chal...

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Representation Matters: The disabled workforce in our schools

by Vivienne Porritt @ViviennePorritt and Ruth Golding @LearnerLedLdrThe highlight of my decade was being honoured with an OBE in the New Year's Honours list on January 1st. Wouldn't it be great if every day feels even better than this! Most of you will know this was for the impact of #WomenEd and it was wonderful to see the community celebrate toge...

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Increasing female participation in educational leadership: why we should and how we can.

by Imogen Senior @MrsSeniorStBens1

When I offered to speak at the #WomenEdEastern unconference on 23rd September, 2021, I hoped that I had something to offer. I have been a headteacher of a secondary school of 900 students for over two years and have been teaching for 20 years. I have three children (now aged 13, 10 and 5). I worked part-time for 18 months after my third child, returned to work full-time after four months after my second child and applied for, interviewed for, and was appointed to my first senior leadership post whilst 36 weeks pregnant (also with my second).

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Afghan Girls and Education: Gender Equity and Global Citizenship in action

by Katrina Edmunds @KatrinaAEdmunds

In my previous blog, we explored the importance of tackling SDG5, why gender equality matters in international schools, what it consists of and how to achieve it. Here we will consider the imperative for international schools to take action and showcase an ongoing project which links gender equality and global citizenship. This project bonds together students from a privileged context, where education is taken for granted, with students from the war-zone of Afghanistan, where girls are fighting for their basic right to go to school, once again.

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The Imperative of Gender Equality Education

by Katrina Edmunds  @KatrinaAEdmunds

My work as an academic counsellor revolves around listening to young people, empowering them to design their future aspirations and to achieve them. From this, we often stray into understanding their identity and values, which has led me to be an ally and educator on issues of equity, especially related to gender.The first decade of my professional life in education was in international recruitment. I travelled to many places to promote UK Higher Education, from Paris to Peshawar, while grafting to reach management level, right before I was blessed with twins in 2011.

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What’s Next for Afghan Women: An Interview with Judge Najla Ayoubi

by Karen Sherman @karsherman

It was years ago, in 1992, but the day is etched in Judge Najla Ayoubi’s memory. She was at home, on the outskirts of Kabul, when she heard the crack of a gunshot nearby. She ran outside to find someone collapsed in the street. Anxious to help, Najla hurried past a neighbor who told her it was her father. As he lay bleeding, Najla went to grab a head covering she dared not leave without and rushed her father to the hospital. It was too late. Eight other people were assassinated that day.

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Is there a glass ceiling in Higher Education?

by Lizana Oberholzer  @LO_EduforAll

Women play a pivotal role as role models to inspire the future generation of female leaders in education, whether it is in schools or in Higher Education. According to Hewitt (2020) and Osho (2018), 56.6% of the university student body is comprised of women. The Higher Education workforce, however, reflects a different picture where 45.3% of the workforce are women, as outlined by the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) data. What is interesting to note is that the representation of women in the leadership and management workforce is even lower at 27.5%.

Osho (2018) highlights that apart from the challenges of low female representation in leadership in higher education, there are also concerns regarding BAME female representation, and that 0.5% of UK female professors are Black.  It’s clear that these issues need urgent attention.

Women in HE often face similar challenges to their counterparts in schools. Hughes, as cited in Findings (2013), outlines that HE contexts and working conditions in HE contexts don’t often accommodate the needs of their female workforce, and they often suit men better. Women with young families often struggle to balance their commitments with family life. In addition, it is often perceived that when women go on maternity leave their academic career comes to an end or is on an indefinite pause. In some cases, some university departments, when faced with maternity leave, had to think how to support or accommodate the needs of young female academics for the first time, as they have never had a female colleague to support until very recently. Findings (2013) and Osho (2018) outline how initiatives such as Glass Ceiling and Athena Swan were introduced to shatter the glass ceiling, in the hope that when women are supported and championed they will also provide strong role models for others to follow, and future generations will be able to progress with ease onto the leadership ladder.

Although the data reflects that the workforce in Higher Education represents a larger percentage of female staff vs male staff in some HE contexts, as cited by Hewitt (2020) it cannot be ignored that at times, more needs to be done to support women in order for them to succeed as academics and in leadership positions in HE. Flexible working opportunities, not only to fulfil academic teaching roles, but research and leadership roles, need to be considered to enable women to lead and contribute in a sustainable way to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

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