Welcome to the new Women in Academia website! We hope you enjoy learning, engaging and supporting other women in academia through this website, and hope it provides a safe space to explore these topics.

This website has been created by a team of women who are studying for their PhDs at the Universities of Sheffield, York, Bradford and Sheffield Hallam. You can find out more about the team in the About Us page, but we thought we would give a bit more information here about us and our journey as a group.

About the Team

The team was initially created from the White Rose DTP Student Forum where a few of us started discussing the challenges of being women in academia and how there weren’t many spaces for us. We had all attended women’s networking events and support groups and had found them to be safe spaces, but realised that these only enabled networking in our institutions, we wanted to think bigger. We wanted to create a Women’s network for the whole of the WRDTP, enabling women to network across the 7 partner Universities. We were lucky to have an amazing director of the WRDTP Professor Ruth Blakeley and the wider WRDTP team who supported us to design and develop an event for women, about women.

The Women in Academia event took place in Sheffield in December 2019 and was a huge success (We have another blog post about the event which goes into more details). The event discussed so many different challenges that women face, so we wanted to have a practical outcome, so started compiling all the findings from the day into a Womanifesto document, which could be shared with Universities to highlight some of the issues. Through developing the document the team started to expand, everything was on track, until COVID-19 struck.

The pandemic highlighted even further the additional roles and responsibilities that women have, and the impact on their careers. So we decided to move the network online, and to develop the website, providing an online space for women to discuss these issues. So here we are :)

For the men reading this - welcome, please use these resources to educate yourself on the challenges that women face, and learn how to develop your practice of engaged allyship. The forum has been designed as a space for women to discuss challenges, so please feel free to read and educate yourself and others. We also have a forum thread called “He for She”, please feel free to use this thread to discuss your experiences of supporting women.

For women, we hope you find solace in these pages and that you realise that you’re not on your own in these challenges, there is a community around you.

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