Sep 06 2022

1.  What is the Royal Holloway Women’s Network and how was it formed?

The purpose of the network is to provide support for women working across Royal Holloway in order to progress and develop their careers and enhance their working environment. It was formed in Spring 2015 and is run by a small group of volunteers who meet regularly to plan events. The Network is Chaired by Moya Watson and Leanne Workman (currently on maternity leave). When we refer to women, we include trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community

2.  What are the aims and initiatives of the Network?

Our aims are to:

  • Talk with our members to identify issues that impact on gender equality, raise awareness of these issues and make recommendations for improvement.
  • Provide a two-way communication route between staff and appropriate College Officers, enabling colleagues to make their views known and influence College policy. This includes identifying potential impact on gender equality and commenting on consultation documents.  
  • Organise regular events such as talks and workshops, providing a useful and supportive networking environment.
  • Assist with achieving the values and beliefs as outlined in Our future: The Royal Holloway Strategic Plan; 2013-2020, Royal Holloway’s Equality and Diversity Scheme and Dignity at Work Policy, and assist with assessing the impact of the institutional Athena Swan Action Plan.
  • Report to College Gender Equality Committee.

3.  What sort of events have you held in the past and plan to hold this year?

We have held a variety of events in recent years including  

  • ‘5 Questions in 5 Minutes’ events where colleagues answer questions about their career trajectory, challenges, support structures and work-life balance. 
  • Speed-networking events with colleagues from a range of backgrounds and roles across the College coming together to talk about experiences and roles.
  • A talk by a College Archivist on the Suffrage Exhibition.
  •  A behind the scenes tour from the College’s Art curator, of the College’s art treasures produced by women artists.
  • Two panel session on barriers and enablers - one to becoming a Reader and Professor and the other to becoming a Professional Services Leader.
  • Speakers in areas such as menopause, imposter syndrome and why people feel so tired in lock down.
  • Informal events for people to get together to chat, share or celebrate.

 In February we ran an Understanding the Menopause event, and in July we ran a session on Support and the Menstrual Cycle with a view to developing a guide for colleagues and managers to further understand the impact it can have, including in the workplace.

This coming academic year we are looking to run a number of events, including a social in December, a ‘5 Questions in 5 Minutes’ event and a discussion on fertility, adoption, and parenting. 

4.  How can colleagues engage with the Network?

You can access the main RoWaN network pages here, with information on network aims and past events. To join RoWaN please email rowanrhul.ac.uk. RoWaN has also created a forum as a channel on MS Teams to provide a space for members of the network to share concerns, ideas, and resources, and ensure issues identified are communicated to the College. This forum is not private, and discussions are open to everyone. You can ask to join the forum here