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Women in Leadership

Please note that this is a women-only event.

Despite comprising the majority of staff working in UK HEIs (54.4%), women remained under-represented among academic staff and senior management roles. (Source: Advance HE annual staff and student statistical report)

We also know that the pandemic put a disproportionate strain on female academics resulting in limited time for additional activities required for career development career development and progression. (Source: Adrian Daub, Alison Dahl Crossley, Stanford University, Times Higher Education, March 2022 & The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women Working in Higher Education, Frontiers in Education, May 2021)

This event will consider women’s leadership in higher education through the lens of art and design, barriers for women leaders in higher education, pathways and routes through for women into leadership roles and mentoring with a focus on intersectional approaches.

  • What do our higher education institutions need to be doing now to enable women to step into leadership roles that facilitate the development of women in higher education?
  • How can we address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector?
  • What are the particular challenges for women taking on leadership roles in art and design higher education?
  • What can we learn from women who are in leadership roles in their institutions how and what are the key actions they advocate for?

Breakout sessions

Technical: Women leading technical teams, career progression pathways

Collaborative partnerships, civic and place making: Women leading collaborative partnerships

Mentoring: Role and value of the mentor, building a mentor network, allyship

Research: Rebuilding a career – funding, maternity leave, carers leave, promotion

Breakout facilitators include:


  • Dr Kate Dixon (Director of Technical Services, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Anita Coppock (Technical Services Manager, University for the Creative Arts)

Collaborative partnerships, civic and place making

  • Dr Rhiannon Jones, Associate Professor (Civic), University of Derby
  • Dr Rowan Bailey, Director of Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange, University of Huddersfield


  • Sandra Booth, Director of Policy and External Relations, CHEAD
  • Professor Catherine Dormor, Head of School – Westminster School of Arts


  • Dr Catherine Baker, Reader in Art and Health, Birmingham City University
  • Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan, Professor of Design History and Theory, University of  Portsmouth




24 Apr 2023


9:55 am - 2:15 pm

More Info

Book Now


Via Microsoft Teams


Council for Higher Education in Art and Design
0203 040 3631
Book Now


  • Alison Johns
    Alison Johns
    Chief Executive, Advance HE
  • Izzie Kpobie-Mensah
    Izzie Kpobie-Mensah
    Head of Equity and Inclusion , Royal College of Art

    Izzie Kpobie-Mensah is a highly experienced Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
    specialist who has dedicated her career to promoting and implementing EDI initiatives in various organisations. With over 25 years of experience in the NHS and health-related organisations, she has developed a range of transferable administrative, office management, project management, staff management, and event management skills.

    In 2018, Izzie made the move to Higher Education and is currently the Head of Equity and Inclusion at the Royal College of Art (RCA). As the senior strategic lead for Equity Diversity and Inclusion and the Becoming Anti-Racist journey at RCA, Izzie works closely with staff, students, and stakeholders at all levels of the organisation to develop, deliver, embed, and sustain EDI priorities as part of the College’s strategic operating plan.

  • Professor Catherine Dormor
    Professor Catherine Dormor
    Head of Westminster School of Arts, University of Westminster

    I am currently the Head of Westminster School of Arts, University of Westminster, having previously been Head of Research Programmes at the Royal College of Art and Senior Lecture in Fashion at Middlesex University.

    I am an experienced manager, teacher and academic, my own research specialism being across textile practices and feminisms. This research focuses around the capacity of textile practices to act as metaphor and material for thinking through what it means to be community in a transnational context. I have two recent publications that speak into this research: A Philosophy of Textile: between practice & theory (Bloomsbury 2022) and Transnational Belonging: Female Agency in the Arts (edited collection; Bloomsbury 2022).

  • Professor Kerstin Mey
    Professor Kerstin Mey
    President of the University of Limerick

    Over the past 25 years, Kerstin Mey has built a track record of successfully initiating and implementing pioneering academic and research initiatives and cultural projects in higher education. As an experienced leader and senior manager, she led major infrastructure and culture change programmes and set up a range of strategic external partnerships.

    After studying for an MA equivalent in Art and German language and literature at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and obtaining a PhD in Art Theory and Aesthetics there, Kerstin Mey held academic positions in universities in Germany and the UK. Before she joined the University of Westminster as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Media, Arts and Design, and Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory in 2013, she was Director for Research and Enterprise at the University for the Creative Arts, UK. From 2009–2013, she led the research strand Art and its Locations in Interface: Centre for Research in Art, Technologies and Design at the University of Ulster and was Director of the Research Institute of Art and Design there.

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