On 26th July, we held our first ever Gender Equality Research Summit, which brought dozens of people together from across our research community, and included researchers from UoB and beyond, students and professional service staff. It was a packed agenda, with time for research presentations, theme support and activities, as well as hopes to build towards a new research institute. The afternoon focussed on advice and planning sessions with funding, research strategy, and impact professionals on how to achieve our aims.
The most exciting and impressive part of the day was undoubtedly the lightning talks session, which saw 7 researchers from across our network give fast-paced short talks to the group on their research. It was really inspiring, not only to hear about the breadth going on, but also to see the ambition and appetite to make the research as impactful as possible and to explore new ways to work together. The brilliant projects and people we heard about and from were:
Professor Jeannette Littlemore and Dr Susan Waigwa - Language and FGM in Schools and Communities: Improving the language used to communicate about FGM in educational and community settings in the West Midlands
Dr Sameen Mohsin Ali - The Women in Public Service in Pakistan (WPSP) oral history project
Dr Fuk Ying Tse – Gender pay gap reporting in the UK: Compliance behaviour of employers in different sectors
Dr Rebecca Smyth - Abortion Exceptionalism in International Human Rights Law
Dr Silvana Tapia Tapia- Why rethink the penal response to violence against women? Insights from anti-carceral feminist activism
Dr Tanya Jakimow - Gender equality in local government: the (largely) unmet potential for in-depth comparative research
Dr Irina Kuznetsova – “Not a single safe place”: The Ukrainian refugees at risk of violence, trafficking and exploitation, Findings from Poland, and Ukraine
The day was full of brilliant discussion and we were sure to dedicate time to group work to capture everyone's ideas and thoughts on how to move forward. At the end of the day we also asked attendees to hopes and ambitions both for the network and for themselves as an individual. The pledges were really varied and impressive, for example:
My commitment to Gender Equality research & collaboration is… to learn more about the various strands of research ongoing in this area – not just at UoB, but other places where collaboration is possible… and I will have… developed at least a working paper on the work I presented at the symposium and figure out the future direction of the project!... one year from now.
And we're committed to supporting everyone's ambitions and putting ideas for the network into action. Some of the great suggestions that we want to act on include:
Scheduling more lunchtime talks, with a broader range of people
A new funding call, open across the network, with no requirement for 2 Colleges
A member directory and ‘match-making’ support
More networking events and opportunities to bring people together
More ECR and PGR involvement and support
More involvement and inclusion of external groups and institutions
Exploring links to gender equality education and teaching
And we haven's wasted any time in starting to act on the needs and opinions of our community. Our new funding call is now open (see the opportunities page) for applications until 6th October. We’ve also started planning our next series of lunchtime talks. Get in touch to suggest a topic or speaker.