Royal Holloway Women's Network (RoWaN)

Welcome to Royal Holloway Women’s Network (RoWaN).

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. RoWaN is open to all staff at Royal Holloway.

To contact RoWaN you can email


Network Aims

Our aims are 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 staff to make their views known and influencing College policy which include identifying potential impact on gender equality and commenting  on consultation documents  
  • Organise regular events such as talks and workshops in order to provide 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 achieving the institutional Athena SWAN Action Plan
  • Report annually to the central Equality Steering Group.

Who we are

RoWaN is run by a committee, chaired by Moya Watson (School Manager, Law and Social Sciences) and Leanne Workman (Head of Academic Liaison, Academic Services). Additional members include Maria Vardaki (Administration Manager, Academic Services) and the team is supported by Katerina Finnis (Equality and Diversity Coordinator, HR). The Committee meets monthly to discuss the planning of events. 

What we do

We aim to run at least three events a year, normally one per term. Some examples of events we have run in the past include:

  • A Flash-mob Tea Party and reading of ‘Margaret of Anjou’, a reimagining of some of Shakespeare’s heroines, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016;
  • A Health & Wellbeing Workshop organised over a lunchtime, with desktop yoga, nutrition advice and a talk on managing a long-term illness as a busy modern woman;
  • A ‘5 Questions in 5 Minutes’ event, where senior women within the College take to the hot-seat to answer questions about the development of their successful careers, and offer top-tips to their colleagues, both women and men, staff and students;
  • A Speed-networking event with colleagues from across the institution, giving staff the opportunity to chat to members of the College SMT (June 2017);
  • A ‘5 questions in 5 minutes’ for international men’s day (November 2017) to reiterate the message that gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’: it involves everyone. Celebrating International Men’s Day involves, amongst other things, promoting male role models who can embrace diversity, acknowledging the intersection between gender and other factors that can compound inequalities, and supporting fathers who work part-time or flexibly to be more involved in childcare. We had a diverse set of speakers from across Royal Holloway, from different backgrounds and with different perspectives;
  • A Talk by the College Archivist Harriet Costelloe on the Suffrage Exhibition at Royal Holloway to celebrate International Women's Day (March 2018);
  • A celebration of World Menopause Day (18th October 2018) to discuss existing support at Royal Holloway and explore the apetite for a Menopause Support Network.
  • A Speed-networking event with colleagues from across the College, including members of the College Executive Team, to celebrate International Women's Day (March 2019). 
  • A talk on The Imposter Syndrome co-organised by all Staff Diversity Networks at the College (July 2019).
  • A celebration of International Women's Day 2020 with the College’s Art curator Dr Laura MacCulloch inviting Rowan members to join her on a behind the scenes tour to see some of the College’s art treasures produced by female artists.
  • panel session on Barriers and Enabler to becoming a Reader and Professor: International Women's Day 2021 Part I (March 2021). 
  • A panel session on Barriers and Enablers to becoming a Professional Services Leader: International Women's Day 2021 Part II (May 2021).


Research: Vague Feedback is Holding Women Back (Article, Harvard Business Review)

The Different Words We Use to Describe Male and Female Leaders (Articel, Harvard Business Review)

What works for Women at Work (Video, Standford.ed; includes discussion of 'the four patterns of bias')






Useful links

Gender Equality and Athena SWAN

Equality and Diversity news

Gender Equality news

Supporting work-life balance

LGBT Equality

Staff Networks at Royal Holloway