I have just come back from the latest NU Women event and thought it would be useful to remind you of its purpose.
NU women is a network open to all women who work at the University. At the moment the focus is on Newcastle University but the aim is to expand to include other Universities in the North East.
It was established in March 2009 to provide a forum for women to share ideas and provide mutual support for their career development. The network is led by Professor Vicki Bruce, Head of School of Psychology and Chair of the University’s Diversity Committee and is supported by a mixture of academic and administrative staff.
The network evolved from a Think Tank on gender issues in academic careers in October 2008 by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Chris Brink. Like other universities, the number of women in senior positions does not reflect the number of women at other levels in academic and research roles. The result has been a year of initiatives to promote and encourage women, from all roles across the university, to think about their career development.
Today’s event included a reminder of the progress made so far, some networking practice and an opportunity to feed in ideas about what the network could provide. I spoke to academic staff, research staff and support staff – a real mix of people at all levels and stages in their career were there – all keen to talk to each other and share experiences and contacts.
The network aims to organise three events during the year, at which invited speakers will talk about their perspective on what works for women in their careers. Previous speakers have included: Caroline Theobold on Networking; Wendy Hirsh on career and development discussions; and some senior women from Newcastle University. Sessions have been recorded where possible and are available to access here.
Events are normally scheduled over lunchtimes and always ensure pre-session or post-session networking time is factored in. The network aims to be inclusive and support all staff although some events may focus on specific issues for certain groups. Members are also encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions for content of future events.
To join the network and receive invites to future events, sign up here.