Diversity of women in education leadership

Diversity of Women in Education Leadership

'Diversity gives you access to a greater range of talent, not just the talent that belongs to a particular world-view or ethnicity or some other restricting definition' (Forbes, 2018)

Below you will find what we have achieved to date, our plans for the future, ways you can get involved, case studies, and below that, more resources.



Our Diversity Goals

To increase the representation of diverse groups at leadership level in education

To support and encourage more women of colour and differing ethnicities, abilities, sexualities and faiths to believe they can achieve leadership positions

To provide guidance and advice for how these diverse groups of women can achieve success in applications for leadership 

To promote the visibility of such women in our organisation


Our Diversity Achievements

So far we have: 

Run a panel discussion on how to increase representation for BAME women at our global unconference in 2020 and 2021 

Written a chapter in 10%Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education

Written several chapters on underrepresented groups including disability, age, sexual orientation in Being 10%Braver

Appointed three of our seven Global Strategic leaders from underrepresented groups, demonstrating the change we want to see

Grown WomenEd into a global organisation with networks on six continents, reflecting the universality of our message

Reflected this diversity at our Global unconference in 2020 with two sessions presented in native tongues

Run a seminar, in collaboration with Innovate Schools Trust, on how to diversify your team 

Hosted presentations on Daring to be Different at out 2021 global unconference


Diversity Case Studies

We have written several chapters on underrepresented groups including disability, age and sexual orientation in our book Being 10%Braver


'WomenEd… where to start… I am a month into being a Headteacher at a school for pupils with SEMH needs in Barking and Dagenham, London, and I absolutely love it. My first WomenEd event was the very first unconference in 2015. From there I’ve never looked back. WomenEd and the network of amazing women I have met as a result has given me an opportunity to learn from like-minded, creative, wonderful women. Learning about and hearing from others experience of imposter syndrome and being 10% braver unlocked my thinking and gave me the booster needed to apply for a Head of School role at a special school in Enfield. Being a woman and also being dyslexic are two hats I’m incredibly proud to wear. WomenEd celebrates and encourages difference and uniqueness. WomenEd encourages sharing your story and listening to and learning from others. WomenEd shifted my thinking from not yet to why not? And this is a message that I now like to share with others. I always look out for WomenEd events and enjoy sharing my experience and learning as a leader of a special school with others.'

Vicky Paver, Head Teacher @VickyPaver


Diversity Get Involved!

You can get involved by:

Watching our seminar on how to diversify your team

Encouraging the involvement of underrepresented groups in networks such as WomenEd, BAMEed, LGBTQ+Ed, MTPT project and Chartered College. Such networks are as effective in increasing progression as spending Friday nights in the pub according to Professor Paul Miller (2020)

Supporting training on diversity and inclusion in your organisation, such as unconscious bias training

Ensuring your recruitment process is as blind as it can possibly be to ensure unconscious bias does not influence appointments

Ensuring educational leaders make recruitment less biased

If possible, practicing positive selection to enable underrepresented groups of women to enter leadership. Promote this by actively seeking applications from these groups

Encouraging and supporting these groups of women to undertake leadership development to enable them to take those next steps


Other Diversity of Women in Education Leadership Resources

Please click on any line item below to find that resource

Diversity of Women in Education Leadership: Articles and Papers

The high cost of living in a disabling world (The Guardian, Jan Grue, 4th November 2021)

Academy Trusts CEO diversity audit (England) (schoolsweek.co.uk, October 2021)

The Pay and Progression of Women of Colour, A Literature Review (Fawcet Society, September 2021)

Personal experience of inclusion: Critical to win the war for talent (McKinsey, 9th August 2021)

Leadership’s cult of personality is dead. Here’s what we should be doing instead (FastCompany, 2nd August 2021)

How to Use Your Privilege to Even the Playing Field (Gorick Ng, 27th July 2021)

Increasing diverse participation in school and trust governance  (nga.org.uk, June 2021)

Diversity and Inclusion in the FTSE All-Share (UK) (womenonboards.net, June 2021)

Taking Equity Beyond Gender – Use design thinking to create policies, practices, and programs that welcome diverse women (USA) (NAESP, Andrea Thompson and Jessica Gomez, 30th April 2021)

WomenEd write about why diversity and equity are important in education (Chartered College, February 2021)

Dyslexia: Why being a dyslexic teacher is a gift (TES, 11th January 2021)

Intersectional feminism: what it means and why it matters right now (UN Women, 1st July 2020)


Leadership Needs More Diversity And Less Supremacy (Forbes, 2nd March 2020)

How to recruit a more diverse leadership team (TES, Vivienne Porritt, 21st February 2020)

‘Tackling’ race inequality in school leadership: Positive actions in BAME teacher progression – evidence from three English schools (Educational Management
Administration & Leadership Journal, Paul Washington Miller, 2020)

How the Best Bosses Interrupt Bias on Their Teams (HBR, Joan C. Williams & Sky Mihaylo, November 2019)

Why inclusive leaders are good for organisations, and how to become one (Bourke and Titus, 29th March 2019)

Stop telling women they must change themselves to become leaders (Theglobeandmail.com, Melanie Dunn, 8th March 2019)

Was it because I'm a woman? Or because I'm a black woman?' (TES, Anonymous, 10th February 2019)

What do leaders need to understand about diversity (Yale, 1st January 2011)

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