The Win Win Network: empowering women in leadership

Win Win was launched in June 2013 by female academics within the College of Social Sciences, as a bottom-up initiative convened by and for academic and academic–related women at the University of Birmingham.  It is now established as an open network involving academics, academic-related colleagues and doctoral students from across the university.

The network aims to complement and supplement University-led programmes and initiatives which share the recognition that the global aspirations of the University of Birmingham are not matched by the gender composition of the current academic staff and leadership. A step-change is required in order for the University to continue to attract the brightest and the best and continue its progress as a leading institute of higher education and research. We work closely with similar initiatives promoting wider action on equality and diversity across campus.

The University’s equality objectives and actions for 2016-2020 are set out in The Equality Scheme ‘Advancing Equality, Valuing Diversity’ (PDF - 2.42MB).

The term ‘Win Win’ recognises the mutual benefits – to both women and the university – of supporting women’s advancement and leadership. 

Termly events

Win Win’s termly events  provide a space to come together, share experiences, develop reciprocal support and facilitate action on issues of gender and diversity in relation to employment, career development and leadership.

Upcoming events

CoSS Equality and Diversity Action Plan

Thursday 31 January 2019, 12.30pm – 2.00pm, G39, Education Building

The Win Win network is delighted to invite you to an event to discuss the new Equality and Diversity Action Plan for the College of Social Sciences

We will be joined by Professor Karen Rowlingson (Deputy Head of College), Professor Julie Allen (School of Education) and Claire Bylo (CoSS Strategic Support Manager) who all support Equality and Diversity actions at the College level. 

Come along to hear more about the action plan, its intended impact and what it means for you. 

Have you recently returned from parental leave?

Monday 18 February 2019, 12.30pm – 2.00pm, Room 427, Muirhead Tower

Join Catherine Durose (INLOGOV) and Danielle Beswick (IDD) in a lunchtime open consultation session with colleagues who have recently taken some form of parental leave, particularly maternity leave, here at the University. Through listening to the issues raised by both speakers and audience members in previous Win-Win sessions, it is clear that experiences of return from parental leave are varied. However it also appears that there are some common challenges facing returnees, which we could benefit from sharing and thinking through with a view to influencing future support provision. We are defining ‘recent’ broadly. We are keen to hear from any colleague who wishes to share their experience of return to work after parental leave, while mindful of the need to focus on the current systems in place. The aim is to have a confidential open discussion, reflecting on your own experiences and what you would like to see done differently. There are few opportunities to share these experiences and learn from them, we hope you will join us.

Post-grad researchers are welcome to attend all of the above events.

Reserve a place at, highlighting any dietary requirements.

Previous events


Summer 2018 Gender Mainstreaming: challenging the gendered academy

Professor Udy Archibong, Professor of Diversity, and Director of Centre for Inclusion and Diversity (CfID) at University of Bradford, shared her research and expertise on this issue and its relevance and application to the academy. Professor Julie Allan (Professor of Equity and Inclusion and Director of Equality and Diversity for the College of Social Sciences) and Karen Newbigging (Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Policy and Management in the School of Social Policy) opened the ensuing debate, offering their responses and reflections.

Spring 2018 White privilege, male privilege: gender, ethnicity and careers in higher education

On International Women's Day 2018, Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE), discussed her research, her career, and her experience of working at the University of Birmingham.

This event was organised in collaboration with the BAME Staff Network.

Autumn 2017  Promotion: the Alternative Roadshow

Everything you wanted to know about promotion and gender … but were afraid to ask!

There was a wide ranging discussion involving early career and experienced academics, who had been successful and unsuccessful during the promotions process and were willing to share their experiences and advice.

Summer 2017 - Coming back to academia after a career break

Participants drew on their own experience of career breaks, shared strategies used on their return to work, and suggested how the organisation could assist the transition back into academia. 

“I'd pushed thoughts of promotion to Reader to the long-distant future. Today's session has inspired me to think differently.”

Following the event suggestions for improving information available to assist the transition back into academia were fed back to the university’s equalities team. 

Spring 2017 - #BeBoldforChange

A celebration of International Women’s Day based on the IWD2017 theme, Be Bold for Change was recorded in this image:


Contact us

To find out more about Win: Win, please contact:

Catherine Needham
Professor of Public Policy and Public Management
Telephone: +44(0)121 414 3011 (Park House)
Telephone (2): +44(0)121 414 6223 (Muirhead Tower)

Catherine Mangan
Director of INLOGOV and Director of the Public Services Academy
Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 7787

Catherine Durose
Reader in Policy Sciences
Tel: +44 (0) 121 415 1074

To join the Win Win events mailing list contact Liz Haydon at:



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