WomenEd Blogs

The Imperative of Gender Equality Education
Katrina Edmunds
Representation
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.
Afro Hair – The Petting Microagression
Adeola Ohgee
Diversity
by Adeola Ohgee @ao1982_   As black women, we have a very close relationship with our hair. Our hair is more than just keratin, it’s a badge of pride and honour because of the history behind it. Let's celebrate World Afro Day on 15th September with the global The Big Hair Assembly.
10% Braver: award success!
Vivienne
10% Braver
by Vivienne Porritt @ViviennePorritt on behalf of #WomenEd We’re delighted to announce that 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education, edited by Keziah Featherstone (@keziah70) and myself,  has made the top 10 of @Learning Ladder5 ‘Best Books for Educators Summer 2021’ awards. We were first included in a longlist of over 100 entries and invited to submit why we should be in the Top 40. Given the title of our book, we had to show we were #Being10% Braver so we shared our views on why 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education should be considered.
How we talk about part-time work matters
Katy Marsh-Davies
Flexibility
by Katy Marsh-Davies @KatyAcademic I received the following email response from a colleague in professional services today: ‘Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I only work part-time’. I’ve had this response from colleagues before, but this time it rankled. I already knew she worked part-time because I received her automatic email reply. I also knew because a senior colleague had told me, in hushed tones, that members of her team mainly work part-time, ‘so you might not always get the support you need in a timely manner’.
Assumptions – and why we need to continue to challenge them
Tanya Hall
Gendered Stereotypes
by Tanya Hall @TheRealTMH A recent Twitter post by @AdamMGrant got me thinking about the assumptions associated with women in education: are 'women who assert their ideas, make direct requests, and advocate for themselves liked less' and are they 'less likely to get hired?'  So, I go back to my first promotion to 2nd in faculty – an internal post – where I was interviewed by the HOD and Headteacher. After being successfully appointed I was told later – quite some time later – that the headteacher had referred to me as a ‘firecracker.’ What did he mean by that?
Supporting Resilience In The Workplace
Sam Fuller
Womens Health
By Sam Fuller, Director & Founder of The Wraw Index Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has dialled up the pressure on employees in all sectors, but for those working in education the challenge has been unprecedented. Now, as schools break for the summer, the invitation is to take stock. How has the pandemic impacted staff wellbeing, and what can we learn from this to continue to support those in education to perform at their best? We recently conducted a study of employee resilience and wellbeing across the UK, analysing data from almost 9,500 working people. The findings, laid out in the Wraw Resilience Report 2021, give a detailed breakdown of resilience in the workplace today, and provide important insight for leaders in education.
We Need To Talk More About Periods. Period.
Anna Zyla
Womens Health
by Anna Zyla I used to teach at a school that had 55 minute blocks. My prep periods were bundled together in the morning leaving me with an afternoon of four back-to-back classes. Any woman around 13-55 can likely spot the potential issue here. Forget about peeing. When was I supposed to change my tampon? I taught seventh grade so while many of the students knew about periods I definitely didn’t want them knowing anything about mine! The thought alone was horrifying.
What’s Next for Afghan Women: An Interview with Judge Najla Ayoubi
Karen Sherman
Representation
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.
Vice Principal to Mum and back again
Lorraine Walker
Flexibility
by Lorraine Walker @LWalkerTeach   'Half (51%) of employers agree that there is sometimes resentment amongst employees towards women who are pregnant or on maternity leave.' (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2018) I (shamefully) admit to previously having jealous thoughts towards staff who left work on time, arrived on time, didn’t participate in evening events, confidently declined summer school classes, and received a year off work.
What can we do to create a better awareness around women’s health in the workplace?
Caroline Biddle
Womens Health
by Fertility Issues in Teaching @fert_teaching Women make up 75.8% of the teaching workforce. It’s time we do more to support the majority. Supporting wellness for women through huge life events such as menopause and even infertility can increase staff retention and save a lot of money. Here's how businesses and organisations can support women’s health in the workplace!
Can COVID-19 break the rigid opposition to teachers working flexibly?
Dr Katy Marsh-Davies
Flexibility
Dr Katy Marsh-Davies @KatyAcademic It feels strange to talk about a global pandemic having upsides but as we hope we are approaching the end of many restrictions in the UK, it seems apt to reflect on what lessons we might learn from the life-changing experience we’ve all been through.  As a Business School academic, with a passion for exploring professional lives, I spent last year researching teachers’ experiences of working remotely.
Gender and middle leadership: A personal reflection
Dr Sadie Hollins
Unconscious Gender Bias
Dr Sadie Hollins @_WISEducation ‘How you are seen may affect how you are heard.’  This was one of many lines in Prof. Jennifer Eberhardt’s book ‘Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do’ that resonated with me. In this context Eberhardt was talking about the gender bias in the historic hiring of female classical musicians for orchestras. Mounting criticism over the lack of female musicians during the 1970s led to many orchestras adopting ‘blind auditions’ so as to not reveal the identity of the auditionee, and therefore avoid any bias that may unfairly affect the outcome.
Inspiring women to lead education
Vivienne
Leadership
by Vivienne Porritt @ViviennePorritt Two of WomenEd’s campaigns are about the representation of women in leadership roles in education, with a particular focus on women with an ethnic heritage. We know the stats show men are disproportionately represented and the pace of change in altering what leaders look like is glacial.This is a key reason for our partnership with The National College of Education in England.
We'll meet again
Gwawr McGirr
Womens Health
by Gwawr McGirr @gwawrmcgirr As lockdown in March 2020 became inevitable I can remember feeling a sense of shock. At times like this – being a musician – I draw on the tremendous resource that is music, and I felt a really strong sense that as a Music Department we should share a few occasional pieces of music to the staff team, to keep people’s spirits up, whilst also providing a means to connect with other staff. My HOD, as ever, was very supportive of the idea and told me to work away!
#ChooseToChallenge
Christalla Jamil
General Blogs
by Christalla Jamil @ChristallaJ This year’s International Women's Day 2021 was marked by a campaign focused on 'challenge'. When we support each other, women accomplish amazing things. For me, once again, this was illustrated on Saturday 6th March when the three regional networks that I am honoured to work with, gave a platform to a community of new voices to share how they #ChoosetoChallenge. I would like to extend my thanks to all three #WomenEd regions: @WomenEdSE, @WomenEdEastern and @WomenEdLondon.
The Power of Connections
Zoe Enser
Leadership
by Zoe Enser @greeborunner I never really understood networking. It was something which was increasingly mentioned as I moved into leadership, but I never knew quite what it meant or indeed why it was a good thing. People said it would help me with my career and enable me to do my job better, but never really told me how. It was also based on the premise I was ambitious and wanted to progress, as opposed to just being happy in what I was doing, but that is a whole other discussion. Networking had also become a bit of a dirty word to me.

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