Women's Forum

The Forum is an inclusive group of self-identified women who meet to debate issues affecting women, with a focus on gender equality in the University.

We're not a formal committee but have the remit to discuss issues freely and pass on advice and suggestions to the University. We also invite guests, including senior University figures, to attend our meetings for a two-way exchange of information and views on specific topics.

From its very inception, women at the University have engaged in activities to improve the wellbeing of other women, including working to establish a Women’s Refuge in the city, childcare facilities on campus, encouraging the introduction of family friendly work practices, raising awareness of barriers to women’s promotion and the ongoing battle for equal pay.

In 2014 the Forum invited participants from every department. We came together because we shared concerns about gender issues and discrimination more broadly in the University, and we continue to pursue further diversity and inclusion.

Membership of the Forum is by invitation and inormally includes one member from every academic department, together with invited members of departmental support staff and University Council. Members have expertise or a keen interest in women’s issues. Trust and confidentiality are essential factors to allow for frank discussions in a secure environment.

The Forum meets once a term and makes no claim to exhaust debate and discussions of all women’s issues on campus. We welcome debate and exchanges with other groups, eg those representing early career staff, as well as suggestions of issues and concerns to add to the agenda.

"The Other 25 Years", a document celebrating the role of women in the first 25 years of the University of York is available by email request from vanita.sundaram@york.ac.uk.

Since 2014, the Forum has debated many issues of significant impact upon women including:

  • gender pay-gap
  • gender and academic promotions and careers
  • sexual harassment and violence against women
  • mentoring
  • Athena SWAN application process
  • leadership training.

The Forum has also engaged with the University on a number of other significant issues, for example by generating nominations for Honorary Degrees, contributing to the feedback on Equality Pay Reviews and submitting proposals for the York Festival of Ideas.

For more information, or to express an interest in participating in the WF, or to suggest issues to debate, you can email the Forum Convener (vanita.sundaram@york.ac.uk), Deputy Convener (caroline.dessent@york.ac.uk) or contact the Forum members in your department.

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680

  • Professor Vanita Sundaram, Education (Convenor)
  • Dr Caroline Dessent, Chemistry (Deputy Convenor)
  • Professor Irene D’Amico, Physics
  • Professor Amanda Lillie, History of Art
  • Professor Amanda Sowden, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
  • Dr Anna Einarsdottir, The York Management School
  • Professor Karen Mumsford, Economics and Related Studies
  • Dr Catherine Laws, Music
  • Professor Catherine Wilson, Philosophy
  • Professor Charlotte O’Brien, York Law School
  • Professor Christine Skinner, Social Policy and Social Work
  • Dr Evangeline Tsao, Centre for Women’s Studies
  • Dr Freya Sierhus, English and Related Literature
  • Professor Delaram Kharobaei, Computer Science
  • Professor Henrice Altink, History
  • Professor Jane Hill, Biology
  • Dr Jude Brereton, Electronic Engineering
  • Professor Karen Bloor, Health Sciences
  • Dr Karla Evans, Psychology
  • Dr Kate Giles, Archaeology
  • Professor Maria Goddard, Centre for Health Economics
  • Professor Rowena Jacobs, Centre for Health Economics
  • Dr Heather Marsden, Language and Linguistic Science
  • Dr Alasia Nuti, Politics
  • Professor Sarah Nettleton, Sociology
  • Dr Victoria Allgar, Hull York Medical School
  • Professor Victoria Gould, Mathematics

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680