OWN newsletter

The OWN newsletter is published every two weeks during term time and once a month during vacation. It is a compilation of events, news and achievements relating to gender equality and women at Oxford.

OWN newsletter, Tuesday 7 November

If you have items that you would like to include in future issues, or to subscribe (Oxford email addresses only), please email: gender.equality@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Events and exhibitions

‘Love hurts’: the multifaceted lived experiences of Intimate Partner Violence in Freetown, post-Ebola Sierra Leone, Luisa Schneider

One in a series of weekly seminars organised by the International Gender Studies Centre on the theme of ‘problematizing gender in an unpredictable world’. All welcome, no booking required.

Date: Thursday 9 November

Time: 2.00-3.30pm

Venue: Old Library, Lady Margaret Hall

The Space Between Us: Three female poets on time, place and identity

St Hugh’s was established to offer an Oxford education to women in 1886, and has since become a home for students looking for a place to belong. Heading the institution as its first principal, Charlotte Anne Moberly caused a stir when she published a book detailing an incident in which she and a fellow academic believed they had fallen back in time while visiting Versailles.

Inspired by Moberly's original imagining across time and space, our speakers will take their own trips back in time, reflecting on poetry and stories from across history and geography which enable their own identities in the modern world. Each with their own unique experience of belonging and womanhood, Patience Agbabi, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Jay Bernard will look to the past, performing work of classic female poets that have influenced them alongside their own contemporary poetry.

This is a free event but booking is essential.

Date: Thursday 9 November

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Maplethorpe Hall, St Hugh's College

Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion by addressing workplace bullying

A talk by Jill Scott, a specialist in unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, smart working and addressing workplace bullying and harassment. One of a series of events organised by the Department of Chemistry to mark Anti-Bullying Week. All welcome, no booking required.

Date: Wednesday 15 November

Time: 1.00-2.30pm

Venue: JSR Seminar Room, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, South Parks Road

Women of the Future Summit and Awards

Saïd Business School is the Educational Partner for both events, which are led by Pinky Lilani CBE and the Women of the Future Network. This year’s summit is on the theme of ‘Harnessing the power of disruption’ and will explore how women leaders can use this power to reframe and broaden perspectives, to drive innovation and to fuel success for the global tomorrow.

Several alumnae of the School have been nominated for the awards, with the ceremony taking place after the summit.

These events will also form part of a 'Week of Women' for international delegates. The aim of this initiative is to promote gender equality and address key challenges while creating and maintaining global relationships.

Date: Wednesday 15 November

Time: 8.15am-3.00pm (summit)

Venue: London Hilton Park Lane

Equity is not about pie

A talk by Dr Olajumoke Okoya, an experienced lecturer and trainer with more than 10 years’ experience of teaching both at undergraduate and post graduate level with several UK higher education institutions. She has extensive capability in providing teaching and training services in human resources management, learning and development, business information systems, personal development planning, continuous professional development and e-learning. One of a series of events organised by the Department of Chemistry to mark Anti-Bullying Week. All welcome, no booking required.

Date: Thursday 16 November

Time: 12.00-1.30pm

Venue: JSR Seminar Room, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, South Parks Road

What does having a good work-life balance mean when working in a world-leading university? A panel discussion

The University of Oxford aims to offer an inclusive and flexible working environment that takes account of and supports individuals’ lives and responsibilities outside of work. Yet, the pressurised higher education context can often make it difficult to manage a work-life balance successfully. This panel discussion, organised by NDCN, RDM, and Surgical Sciences, will explore the different forms that a positive work-life balance might take, and communicate the policies and potential options for flexible working. By providing a range of experiences from across the career pipeline it is hoped that the session will help you reflect upon your own working practices and develop a balance that works for you. All University of Oxford staff and students welcome. Booking is required.

Date: Thursday 16 November

Time: 2.00-3.00pm

Venue: WIMM Seminar Room, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital

Ann McPherson Memorial Lecture: A glass half full: the changing face and fortunes of women in medicine

Miss Clare Marx, the outgoing President of the Royal College of Surgeons, talks about the changing face and fortunes of women in medicine. Registration required, email: yoland.johnson@gtc.ox.ac.uk.

Date: Wednesday 29 November

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 3, Mathematical Institute

Production, reproduction and empowerment: the future of women in Africa

This lecture focuses on young women (aged 15-24), who are at the cusp of reproduction and production. Drawing on the rich data sets collected by Young Lives in Ethiopia, Professor Jo Boyden, Director of Young Lives, and Professor Sandra Fredman, Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, examine transitions of adolescent girls and boys from education to labour markets and how their opportunities are shaped by other intersecting transitions (family formation, marriage and parenthood). On the basis of this evidence, they will consider the role of legal frameworks in obstructing or facilitating women’s access to decent working conditions, the social support for care-giving roles, and ways of interrupting intergenerational transmission of poverty.

All welcome, booking is required.

Date: Thursday 30 November

Time: 5.00-6.00pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets)

New Directions in the History of the British Women’s Liberation Movement

As austerity and right-wing politics have drawn campaigns to defend women’s rights to the fore, scholars and activists have turned to feminism’s recent past. Discussions of women’s bodily autonomy, their experiences of domestic and sexual violence, and their involvement in paid and unpaid labour have stimulated increased interest in the history of the British women’s liberation movement, active from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. Recent scholarship has reflected upon the political and intellectual dynamism of this activism, acknowledging contemporary resonances while seeking to understand the movement on its own terms. It is timely, then, to examine how this developing body of work has situated issues of sexuality, race and place; how these concerns intersected and interacted with other social movements of the period; and how historians can navigate the diverse and sometimes conflicting stances taken by a rarely cohesive movement.

This one-day workshop, hosted at All Souls College, and organised with the support of the Centre for Gender, Identity and Subjectivity will draw together historians working on the women’s liberation movement in Britain. With papers on a range of subjects—from Socialist-Feminism to Thatcherism, from Existentialism to the Black Women’s Movement—and a session featuring feminist activists, past and present, this workshop will explore the ways in which historians approach such recent and relevant histories.

Researchers at any stage of their career are warmly invited, although spaces are limited so please only sign up if you are sure you can attend. Further details and registration.

Date: Monday 4 December

Time: 10.00am-7.30pm

Venue: All Souls College


Returning Carers Fund

The University’s Returning Carers Fund is a small-grants scheme to support women and men who have taken a break of at least six months for caring responsibilities to re-establish their research careers. The scheme is open to all members of academic and research staff employed by the University, including those holding joint appointments, but excluding those who have achieved full professorial title or who hold statutory chairs. Those currently on leave can apply for support on their return to work. The grants will pay for a range of activities, such as short-term administrative or research assistance, teaching buy-outs, conference attendance, visits of research collaborators and training in new research methods. The Michaelmas term call for applications is now open, with applications to be submitted by Friday 10 November.

For further information on how to apply, click here.

Get involved

Research about female body image - participants needed

Izzy Fewster, an Archaeology & Anthropology student at St John’s College, is looking for participants to take part in a short online questionnaire investigating the relationship between women and their body image. To volunteer you should be a female student studying at the University of Oxford and between the ages of 18-25. If you are interested in taking part, more information and a consent form can be found here

Articles and resources

Just Add Imagination

MPLS are excited to share a new resource for parents and families, called 'Just Add Imagination'. It is part of their new Parents for STEM Futures project to actively engage parents of primary school aged children in science and maths subjects.

This digital (and printable) resource aims to show how creative and exciting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects are, to dispel stereotypical ideas about who ‘belongs’ in STEM fields, and to encourage parents and children to explore the opportunities offered by a STEM career.  It includes:

  • Profiles of (current and former) staff and students at the University of Oxford, enjoying a variety of STEM career paths;
  • Fun, easy, and creative activities that parents can do with their children;
  • Talking points to help guide discussion and get talking about science and maths in everyday life; and
  • How to find out more about careers that interest your child.

The profiles and activities can be viewed online: https://www.oxfordsparks.ox.ac.uk/justaddimagination, and the entire booklet can be downloaded by clicking here.

Written by: Isabel Thomas

Designed by: University of Oxford Design Studio

MPLS have also launched a 'Parent Ambassadors for STEM' scheme to bring this resource to life in Oxfordshire primary schools.

Men get credit for voicing ideas, but not problems. Women don’t get credit for either

Research from the Harvard Business Review that explores how employee voice impacts on status and leadership emergence.

Virtual Staff Advisory Group survey on promoting equality

The University has a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to promote equality and foster good relations between people with different ‘protected characteristics’. The Equality and Diversity Unit recently surveyed the Virtual Staff Advisory Group (VSAG) to find out how departments and colleges currently try to achieve these aims and to ask members to share their own suggestions. We have compiled a report full of practical tips on how the University and departments can foster a more open and inclusive working environment which we invite you to share with colleagues in your department or college.

Download the survey report.

If you would like to join the VSAG and have your say on issues affecting equality for all staff, please email Sara Smith.

ASSET 2016: biosciences and medicine, engineering and physical sciences

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) has published new research on experiences of gender equality in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) academia. The Athena Survey of Science, Engineering and Technology (ASSET) 2016 was published in April 2017 and assessed the current experiences, expectations and perceptions of gender equality in STEMM academia, and the intersections with ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age. Further results of the ASSET 2016 survey have now been published in three new reports that focus on biosciences and medicine, engineering and physical sciences.

Find out more information and download the report.