International Women's Day 2022

#BreakTheBias….in education and research! content

#BreakTheBias….in education and research!

illustrative image of gender identity


The international theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. As such on Tuesday 8 March, colleagues from UHI and the wider UK Further and Higher Education sector will present a short workshop, presentation, or pecha kucha session, on the ways in which they are approaching or promoting women’s equality in education and/or research through a lens of #BreakTheBias.

This will be a free online event open to colleagues working in the Further and Higher Education sector.



09:30 – 09:45 Welcome and setting the scene: Alex Walker, Learning and Teaching Academy, UHI
09:45 – 10:15 Opening the programme: Dr Jen Vanderhoven, Vice-Principal Engagement, UHI
10:15 – 11:00 Keynote: Feminist critical digital pedagogy: Why our personal stories matter: Dr Suzan Koseoglu, Goldsmiths, University of London
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 11:45 Representation of women composers in the library: Dr Karen E McAulay, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
11:50 – 12:50 Parallel workshops
  Diversity and digital Leadership: Dr Melissa Highton, University of Edinburgh
  Supporting leadership aspirations through the lens of the Aurora Leadership Programme: Ann Tilbury and Debbie Wartnaby, Learning and Teaching Academy UHI
12:50 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:00 Pecha Kucha Presentations
  Delivering english and maths at National 5 and Higher level during Covid-19: Susannah Wilson and John Rayneau, Argyll College UHI
  Approaches to programme provision which could promote a more equitable, accessible, and inclusive university experience for mature women students: Dr Carole Binns, University of Bradford
  Corporate Partner Mentor Pilot Program: Patricia Perlman-Dee, University of Manchester
  Challenging homophily and male bias in academic research and publishing: Professor Keith Smyth, Learning and Teaching Academy UHI
14:00 – 14:10 Pecha Kucha questions
14:10 – 15:10 Parallel workshops
  Using developmental mentoring and coaching approaches in academic and professional development to address feelings of ‘imposter syndrome: Professor Megan Lawton, Sarah Rhodes, Fiona Kolontari, University of Wolverhampton
  Battles for occupied academic space (Participants are asked to bring or email a moment at their college/university when they noticed exclusion/inclusion in a space): Dr Kara Smith, University of Windsor {}
15:10 – 15:20 Break
15:20 – 15:50 Handbook for creating a gender-sensitive curriculum: Teaching and learning strategies: Dr Mary Kitchener, Oxford Brookes University
15:55 – 16:25 How the menstrual cycle and menstruation affect sporting performance: experiences and perceptions of elite female rugby players: Rebekka Findlay, Perth College UHI
16:25: 16:30 Programme close: Alex Walker

Keynote Speaker

Dr Suzan Koseoglu

Suzan Koseoglu

Dr. Suzan Koseoglu is an Academic Developer at Goldsmiths, University of London. Suzan works on college-wide projects and initiatives related to pedagogy, and co-leads the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, which is designed to enhance the pedagogical practice of teaching staff at Goldsmiths. She holds a PhD in Learning Technologies, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota. Suzan's research and writing lie at the intersection of critical pedagogy, feminist pedagogy and online education. Her works include 30 Years of Gender Inequality and Implications on Curriculum Design in Open and Distance Learning, Access as Pedagogy: A Case for Embracing Feminist Pedagogy in Open and Distance Learning , and My Story: A Found Poem Reflecting the Voice of Women Studying in Open Education Programs in Turkey. Suzan is the associate editor for the e-learn magazine and an editor for Feminist Critical Digital Pedagogy, an open book recently published by EdTech books.

Session Outlines content

Session Outlines

Session Outlines

Supporting leadership aspirations through the lens of the Aurora Leadership Programme

Ann Tilbury and Debbie Wartnaby, UHI

The impetus of the University’s engagement with the Advance HE Aurora Leadership Development Programme for women arose, in part, from the University’s first International Women’s Day in 2018. Aurora seeks to support women and their institutions to fulfil their leadership potential a series of development days and collaborative learning. By March 2022, twenty-seven women from the university will have undertaken the programme. A focused and robust research study on the impact of the programme for the 2019/20 participants has captured their experiences, reflections, and suggestions for change to support those who aspire to leadership in the university. Explored in Chapter 2 of the book in celebration of IWD 2021: Gender equality and representation within and beyond the University of the Highlands and Islands, the findings added “to the body of evidence that argues that addressing gender inequality requires changes in organisational cultures and structures and that this will require a critical exploration of how leadership is enacted, valued, rewarded and developed. By moving beyond approaches preoccupied with ‘fixing the women’ these changes can be grounded in what is valued in leadership.” (Tilbury 2021:99). Building on this research this interactive workshop will explore opportunities to #BreakTheBias in leadership development practices across the sector. Facilitated by Ann Tilbury and Debbie Wartnaby, of the University’s LTA, and joined by members of the University’s Aurora community, participants will be encouraged to share and identify enhancements in organisational cultures, structures and practices which could support women’s leadership aspirations within institutions in the sector. The workshop will include the first showing of the 2021/22 UHI Aurorans video reflections. As the university enters a new chapter and a new strategic plan ‘Daring to be Different’ it is an ideal time to explore breaking the bias in leadership development with the sector.

Approaches to programme provision which could promote a more equitable, accessible, and inclusive university experience for mature women students

Dr Carole Binns, University of Bradford

HEPI (2021) reports that 39% of undergraduate students are mature (aged 21 or over) and 50% of postgraduates are aged 25 or over. These students are more likely to be female (HEPI 2021), and very often balance their studies against caring responsibilities (for both children and older relatives). They juggle the academic calendar alongside the school calendar and dependent relative's health needs.  Having to ‘spin several plates’, and over sustained periods of time, impacts upon class attendance, assessment submission, the use of academic services (eg. libraries) and their available time for reading, writing and assessment preparation. This affects learning outcomes and progression.

This presentation focuses on some proposed approaches to programme provision which could promote a more equitable, accessible, and inclusive academic experience for these students. The key issues that will be explored include the timetabling of classes, recording lectures, and childcare provision in libraries.

Traditional academic days at most universities are determined by a face-to-face lecture timetable which often starts at 9.00am and continues until 6.00pm. This clashes with the school day and home life generally. Academics and teaching / support staff can sometimes request lecture and seminar timetabling to start later and end earlier in the day, but this is not always possible due to classroom availability (particularly for large lecture theatres). Libraries are open for longer hours, and access is often for up to 24 hours a day and for almost the whole calendar year. However, and despite this, anecdotal evidence from librarian colleagues suggests that this cohort are less likely to engage with the library due to caring responsibilities. Students can of course use digital formats, but e-books are not always the preferred alternative for everyone. In addition, formal childcare is not usually available in the evenings.

Two ways of making Higher Education study equitable for this student cohort would be by: (1) making universal and inclusive timetable adjustments to the delivery of lectures and seminars, but also by providing recorded lectures that can be viewed outside of scheduled hours; and (2) Providing a creche in the evening and/or weekend to enable library access.

Full-time mature students have less favourable outcomes than younger students as they are more likely to withdraw from study or achieve lower degree classifications (HEPI 2021). However, and as a personal tutor and assessment marker, I have witnessed many examples of mature female students attaining consistently high marks and graduating with first and upper second-class degrees. This is to be celebrated as it bucks the general trend.  However, rather than this being the result of a wider HE sector commitment to non-biased and inclusive programme delivery and access to library services, it reflects the students hard work and commitment, their consistent determination to do well, and the personal (rather than institutional) commitment of individual lecturers, personal tutors, and support staff to enable their success.

As such, a more widespread and embedded approach is surely ripe for discussion.

Battles for Occupied Academic Space

Dr Kara Smith, University of Windsor

For women, sharing space, being acknowledged in that space, is a battle of trust and spirit. Academic spaces have previously been colonised, either by the leader in charge, or a previous ‘owner’ of that space. This presentation and paper describes three common intersectional narratives of Williams’ (1991) ‘spirit murder’, and the ‘protectors and restorers’ (Revilla, 2021) of our space in the academy. Women are battling to occupy their work spaces on a daily basis: trying to speak, teach, research in ways they have organically invented and conceived their service. They are the caretakers of diverse and different languages, and innovative methods to research and teachings; yet these divergent pathways are often blocked by colonised, ‘expected’ practices within the institution. Even the physical grey and white walls are concrete signs of ownership. The Academy is a place we are in; where we have a right to be in (Sefa Dei, 2021). Trusting and accepting these unique differences is at the heart of moving forward to a more inclusive, rich research and teaching space. Just because a pathway or method is distinct, does not mean it is deficient. For educational leaders, acknowledging shared ownership in the academic space involves sharing and projecting one’s self into the space (Kreger,1999); trusting that, while an approach is unknown, it can be successful. To redress space in the academy, educators must be at ease with the discomfort of sharing space in what has yet to be experienced and institutionalised.

Workshop activities: Participants are asked to bring or email {} a moment at their college/university when they noticed exclusion/inclusion in a space. These will be shared together. Members will look at how one may insert oneself into a space, feel belonging, and look for ways to include others in academic space, and nurture trust.


Aboagye, E. & S. N. Dlamini (Eds). (2021). Global Citizenship Education: Challenges and Successes. University of Toronto Press.

Kreger, Suzan. (1999). In, Nicotera, A.M. The Woman Academic as subject/object/self: Dismantling the illusion of duality. Communication Theory, 9(4): 430-464. Oxford University Press. p.438.

Revilla, A.T. (2021). Attempted Spirit Murder: Who are your Spirit protectors and your Spirit restorers? The Journal of Educational Foundations, 34(1): 31-46.

Sefa Dei, George J. (December 10, 2021). ‘Race, Indigeneity and Anti-Colonial Education: Making discursive links.’

Williams, P.J. (1991). The Alchemy of Race and Rights: The diary of a law professor. Cambridge, MT: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674014707

Representation of women composers in the library

Dr Karen McAuley, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

For several years, I have been endeavouring to increase the Whittaker Library’s stock of music by women composers, and scholarly literature not only by but also about women composers. As a small library in a small specialist institution, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, resources are not limitless, but it has been possible to make this project one of our priority areas. I shall outline the measures taken to build up stock in this area, alongside building a dedicated page on the library’s portal. Running alongside this, there has been similar drive to improve representation of music by composers of colour. Over and above all this, a colleague has been working with some of our academic colleagues in terms of EDI in course reading lists, as I shall also describe. Recognising the limitations not only of budgets, but also the comparative availability of materials by and about women only a few short decades ago – not to mention historically – my presentation will hopefully provide food for thought, underlining the importance of close collaboration between the library and academic colleagues.

Handbook for creating a gender-sensitive curriculum

Dr Mary Kitchener, Oxford Brookes

This presentation will explore a new publication ‘Handbook for Creating a Gender-sensitive Curriculum: Teaching and Learning Strategies’. This handbook contains a compendium of examples and case studies of effective gender-sensitive practice that represents the diverse range of teaching and training contexts in higher education. The handbook has examples to ensure our teaching environments are free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, are diverse, equitable, and inclusive, and where difference is valued and celebrated. Drawing on national and international examples, the handbook provides over 50 examples of case studies to establish stronger gender equality in institutions by challenging the stereotypical roles attributed to men and women in organisations and transforming these identities to create real and sustainable institutional and societal change. The presentation will outline how the handbook was curated and highlight several case studies. During the presentation, a link will be provided for participants to download a free copy of this peer-reviewed handbook. The handbook forms a part of the outputs of the Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES known as Gearing-Roles, a project funded by Horizon 2020, that seeks to design, implement, and evaluate 6 Gender equality plans in 6 research institutions.

Using a developmental mentoring and coaching approaches in academic and professional development to address feelings of ‘imposter syndrome’

Dr Megan Lawton, Sarah Rhodes and Fiona Kolontari, University of Wolverhampton

Key issues to be explored in our session: We are three women who have all helped each other in our careers in a university. We are from different backgrounds, have different educational experiences and each have different roles in our university. All three of us are neuro-divergent and champion inclusive learning, teaching and assessment both in our professional roles and from personal experiences. What brought us together is identifying how we have helped each other through development mentoring and coaching to address feelings of discomfort in work situations where we second guess our own abilities. We have all felt the effects of ‘imposter syndrome’ (Clance & Imes 1978) but through developmental mentoring we have realised our successes are justified but it has taken the support of colleagues to help us recognise our strengths and abilities. We will challenge the notion of ‘imposter syndrome’ and ask why this might be disproportionally applied to women (Tulshyan & Burey 2021)? We also offer an affirmation model of Disability (Swain & French 2000) as a framework and ask how this can be applied in a broader intersectional context. Recognising our abilities and not having a tragic view of Disabilities has enabled us to challenge attitudes towards inclusive learning, teaching and in particular assessment where there is a perception of a ‘gold standard’ of academic writing espoused in the recent report, ‘Assessment practices in English higher education providers Spelling, punctuation and grammar’ by the Office of Students (2021). We can all demonstrate our abilities but some of us would like to do this differently than in a Higher Education read/write traditional environment. Indication of Activities: In this session, we will; Give a personal, professional and theoretical context. We will offer two different mentoring models - sponsorship and development (Megginson et al 2006), asking participants to compare and contrast these models. We will explore how developmental mentoring and coaching can be used for academic and professional development related to inclusive learning and teaching and ask participants how they might apply developmental models to their own settings. We will also ask participants to share their views and take part in discussions.

Diversity and Digital Leadership

Dr Melissa Highton, University of Edinburgh

Digital leadership is an area of leadership studies which is gaining popularity as organisations seek to ensure that their businesses are best positioned to thrive in an increasingly digital world. The experiences and attitudes of leaders to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion is key to institutions’ organisational culture and the context in which institutional vision, policy and strategy for digital education is developed and delivered. Digital leaders are often at the forefront of change, leading STEM departments which are inclusive and empowering. People and culture are key to ensuring that staff are treated well and feel an ongoing loyalty to their organisation, but there are risks for digital leaders who push for change on too many fronts. This session is an opportunity to hear some of the latest research on building inclusive workplaces and consider the recommendations for understanding data about your people.

participants will be invited to answer questions in chat and highlight areas where this research resonates with their own experiences and context.

Corporate Partner Mentor Pilot Program

Patricia Perlman-Dee, University of Manchester

At Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) it was identified from a post-graduation survey that certain groups of students on specific programs were lagging behind their peers in employment and salary post-graduation. The initial group identified was female, Asian students. The issue gained the attention of the female board members of the University Advisory board. The University has a wide and varied career service offering, an extended focus on equality and inclusivity and many other support services and initiatives to promote inclusivity and equality. However, at this particular occasion, it was clear that something else was needed to try to support the identified group. An all-female group was created including members of the University Advisory board, Head of AMBS, Head of Executive Education and the Employability Lead of AMBS. The idea of a mentoring program was identified. A mentoring program is not new, but the importance of a mentoring relationship is increasing. Since 2020 millennials is the largest generation of the workforce. In a recent survey 75% of millennials stated they deem mentors crucial for success. What is making this mentoring program unique is the focus on aligning CSR goals of organisations with targeting specific student groups, giving equitable and inclusive possibilities to students. This Pecha Kucha will analyse and describe how the unique Corporate Partner Mentor Pilot Program was set up at AMBS. The audience will take away tools and a process to be able to replicate and implement an inclusive and equitable Corporate Partner Mentor Program at their own institution. The talk will discuss; *how partner organisations were identified based on their CSR goal, *how student groups were identified and engaged, *how mentors and mentees were matched, *supportive and less supportive stake holders and *key initial learnings so far three months into the program.

How the menstrual cycle and menstruation affect sporting performance: experiences and perceptions of elite female rugby players

Rebekka Findlay, Perth College UHI

This presentation would summarise explorative research conducted on elite female athletes: “How the menstrual cycle and menstruation affect sporting performance: experiences and perceptions of elite female rugby players”. The study aimed to explore how the menstrual cycle affects elite female athletes based on their experiences and perceptions. Females have historically not been included in studies based on the uncertainties of the menstrual cycle (and the associated hormonal fluctuations) and its consequential impact on results. Some more current research in this area has aimed to address this by looking into physiological effects of the menstrual cycle through quantitative measures such as Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), amenorrhoea (lack of menses) and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB) which have helped develop knowledge and understanding of these in females and female athletes. However, some of this research has also been somewhat limited, as RED-S and amenorrhoea is often focussed on sports that are associated with increased leanness such as long distance running and dancing to due increased prevalence. There is minimal research on the impact of the menstrual cycle in team sports and additionally little-to-no qualitative research on athletes experiences of their menstrual cycle and how they perceive it to impact on their sporting performance. This presentation would show the findings of this research which explored athletes lived and current experiences of the menstrual cycle in relation to the perceived impact on their performance, to improve awareness, gain a better understanding of female athletes and how to support them through result driven recommendations. In addition to descriptive findings such as menstrual cycle status, results included 4 main themes from interviews: 1. Symptoms (physiological and psychological) 2. Impact (perceived impact of symptoms of daily life and sporting performance) 3. Resolution (the methods athletes currently utilise in order to address any concerns, if any) 4. Support (support available and used by athletes in relation to menstrual cycle concerns). These findings allowed for recommendations to be made  to enhance support for female athletes such as monitoring individual menstrual cycles and the associated symptoms, together with developing knowledge and understanding of the menstrual within teams, coaches and support staff in order to increase awareness, normalise conversations and therefore provide a more open platform for support. This research was published in BJSM in 2020: (Findlay RJ, et al. Br J Sports Med 2020;54:1108–1113. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2019-101486)

Delivering English and Maths at National 5 and Higher level during Covid-19

Susannah Wilson and John Rayneau, Argyll College UHI

Our presentation will focus on the delivery of English and Maths at National 5 and Higher level during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lecturers were initially required to adapt their delivery mechanisms in March 2020, when the global pandemic caused the closure of the college centres. We will outline how lecturers used discourses of digital inclusion and digital divide to maintain a focus on inclusivity and equality, and how these discourses were subsequently used to ensure that the delivery models in 2020-21 – which were also disrupted due to the covid-19 pandemic – continued to focus on ensuring equality and inclusivity.

We will refer to recent research into ways in which Covid-19 has interacted with existing inequalities (e.g. Blundell et al., 2020), and the ways in which Covid -19 is viewed as having the “potential to exacerbate some of these pre-existing inequalities”. We will look at research from prior to the Covid-19 pandemic – e.g. Eynon (2009) - which suggested that “even once online, existing divides in income, education….and to some extent location and gender still remain”. We will explain the relevance of this to the demographic of learners within our National 5 and Higher courses at Argyll College UHI, with a particular emphasis on how the gender balance of these cohorts – predominantly female – required us to consider inclusion more actively.

In particular, we will focus on the work of van Dijk (2005), whose consideration of ‘resources’ was paramount to our delivery approach. Van Dijk names the five types of resources that are linked to access to digital technology: temporal, material, mental, social, and cultural (2005, p. 20). We will discuss the aspects that we considered to be within our sphere of influence – primarily social and temporal – and how we adapted our delivery mechanisms within these courses to mitigate the unequal distribution of these resources within our student groups.

We will also show how van Dijk (2005, p. 26)’s problematisation of “static” research also informed our delivery of the National 5 and Higher qualifications during academic year 2020-21 and beyond. We will explain how our approaches were informed by the developments in research as they were published and the impact we believe this to have had.

Presenter Biographies content

Presenter Biographies

Presenter Biographies

Ann Tilbury, Organisational Learning and Development Lead & Debbie Wartnaby, Organisational Learning and Development Co-ordinator, Learning and Teaching Academy UHI

Debbie Wartnaby and Ann Tilbury

Ann Tilbury and Debbie Wartnaby are working closely together during a period of secondment with Debbie joining the LTA and Ann joining the HR team on a part-time basis. Debbie takes up the leadership of embedding the University’s engagement in the Advance HE’s Aurora Leadership Development Programme for women while Ann continues with her research into the impact of the programme for participants and the university. As well as their knowledge of the Aurora Programme at UHI, they have first-hand experiences of the value a secondment in developing leadership practices. Ann’s secondment is to provide expertise in organisational development to support the restructuring of the university’s executive office. Her work with the LTA during the secondment period is focused on educational leadership development and the wider work of the LTA. Debbie Wartnaby is seconded to the Learning & Teaching Academy and is responsible for leading on the Advance HE Aurora programme; the Staff Development Fund and UHI’s engagement with the learning, teaching and enhancement strand of UHI’s mentoring scheme. During the part-time secondment she continues her work as Faculty Officer with the Faculties and Academic Standards team.

Dr Carole Binns, Assistant Professor and Director of Studies (Social Sciences), University of Bradford

Carole Binns is an Assistant professor and Director of Studies at the University of Bradford. In 2020 she was awarded the status of 'Bradford Fellow' for: Highly inclusive approaches to learning and teaching, particularly regarding first generation students; Sustained high levels of student achievement and positive feedback; Drawing on and contributing to educational research/literature with evidence of influencing the practice of others, locally and nationally. Carole has published her second monograph and regularly engages in outreach within the Yorkshire area delivering presentations to lay on a wide range of topics.

Dr Kara Smith, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies & Research, University of Windsor

Kara Smith

Kara Smith, PhD, Isle of Lewis, is an educational researcher working in both Scotland and Canada. She is the past editor of the Journal of Teaching and Learning and the Canadian Journal of Education. Smith has served on the boards of the Ontario College of Teachers (2012-2015) and as a fellow for the Royal Society of Arts (2018-2020). Author of The Artists of Crow County (2017); Next to the Ice (2016); and Teaching, Learning, Assessing (2007), Smith has published over 25 articles about teaching leadership in the arts, and in 2013 was awarded the ‘Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching’ award.

Dr Karen McAuley, Performing Arts Librarian/Postdoctoral Researcher, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Karen Mcaulay

Karen McAulay is dual-qualified in music and librarianship, having completed a mid-career PhD on historical Scottish music collecting in her ‘spare time’. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals; holds a PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education; and is an FHEA.

Karen’s time is split between Information Services and the Research Department. She has been postdoctoral researcher for a major AHRC grant and was awarded an AHRC networking grant in 2017-18. She has written many articles on historical musicology and music librarianship, and is currently working on her second monograph.

Professor Keith Smyth, Professor of Pedagogy and Head of the Learning and Teaching Academy, UHI

Keith Smyth

Keith Smyth is Professor of Pedagogy and Head of the Learning and Teaching Academy at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Through his work alongside colleagues in the Learning and Teaching Academy, Keith leads on, supports or contributes to a range of learning and teaching enhancement initiatives and professional development opportunities offered across the university. In this context Keith has overall responsibility for the university’s Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy, and for the development of educational research. Keith’s own research interests relate to co-creative pedagogies and curriculum models, digital and open education, educational strategy, and academic development. There is strong focus on inclusion and widening participation embedded in much of this work. Keith has also been involved in a number of equality and diversity initiatives and organisations, including a period as Vice and Acting Chair of the charity LEAD (Linking Education And Disability) Scotland. Keith blogs (sporadically) at 3E Education and can be found as @smythkrs on Twitter.

Dr Mary Kitchener, Senior Lecturer (Educational Development), Oxford Centre for Staff Learning and Development

Dr Mary Kitchener (she/her) is an educational developer at Oxford Brookes University. She is the editor of the Handbook for Creating a Gender-sensitive Curriculum: Teaching and Learning Strategies. At Brookes, her current responsibilities include interim programme director for EXPLORE, the threshold lecturer preparation programme, and the Coordinator for the PSF Pathway; the accredited provision for UKPSF fellowships. She is currently writing about her research on professionals transitioning into a full-time academic career. @lecturerkitch

Sarah Rhodes, Professor Megan Lawton, and Fiona Kolontari


Sarah Rhodes, Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching, University of Wolverhampton

Sarah Rhodes has a PG Cert in HEP and is currently completing a PG coaching and mentoring qualification. Sarah holds SFHEA and Associate CIPD status and is an EE on the PG Cert Teaching in HE course at UWTSD. Sarah teaches on a range of teacher educator courses: PGCE PCE and PG Cert Academic Practice with Module Leadership for the ‘Inclusive Curriculum by Design’ module. She is a mentor and reviewer for the internal KUDOS scheme (CPD portfolio scheme accredited by Advance HE). Teaching and scholarly activities include inclusive curriculum design, SEND, designing online learning, mentoring, inclusive and reflective practices.

Professor Megan Lawton, Professor of Learning & Teaching in Academic Practice, University of Wolverhampton

Megan Lawton is Professor of Learning and Teaching in Academic Practice. She achieved her Doctorate in 2011“Of sea anemones and clownfish: exploring a mutually beneficial approach to educational development through Soft Systems Methodology”. In 2017, she became a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA). Her research focuses on visual research methodology, flipped learning, academic practice and Disability issues. She is dyslexic and is passionate about challenging traditional approaches to learning, teaching and assessment. Megan is Co-Chair of her University’s Disabled Staff Network and a member of the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks.

Fiona Kolontari, Specialist Tutor (Neurodiversity/ Dyslexia, University of Wolverhampton

Fiona Kolontari is a Specialist Tutor (Neurodiversity/ Dyslexia) in a Student Support and Wellbeing department. Fiona is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), a Senior Accredited Member (SAMNADP) and Director of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP). She has a PG Cert in SpLD (FE/HE) with (BDA) approved teacher status and a PG Cert Academic Practice. She teaches and supports students and staff across all subjects and levels. Fiona is active in the development of Equality and Diversity strategies; authoring sections of her institutions Race Equality Charter on intersectionality and the Action Framework for Disability Equality.

Dr Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal, University of Edinburgh

Melissa Highton

Melissa has a long-standing commitment to principles of access, diversity, inclusion and openness and the enthusiasm and resilience to continue to champion these at senior levels. At University of Edinburgh she holds joint roles as Assistant Principal and Director of Learning, Teaching and Web. She is a researcher and practitioner in the area of diversity leadership and has a track record of success in delivering organisational change projects. Over 5 years she has successfully provided a route map, addressed the gender pay gap in her organisation and established organisational development projects tacking specific areas including diversity in recruitment, cross generational team working, menopause in the workplace, support for fathers in the workplace, de-colonising the curriculum, tackling harassment online, making the internet less sexist and addressing areas of IT where women are significantly under-represented.

Patricia Perlman-Dee, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester

Patricia is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at AMBS. She has a Masters in Finance, a PGCE and the Employability Lead at AMBS. Patricia has extensive experience working in large financial corporations such as Citigroup, JP Morgan, Nomura and Barclays in Manchester, London and New York. Patricia has created and teaches a range of courses at University of Manchester across Undergraduate, Post Graduate, MBA and Executive Education. In 2021,2020 and 2019, Patricia was awarded Faculty of Humanities AMBS Outstanding teaching award. Patricia is married and has four children. Philanthropy is also a large part of Patricia's life.

Rebekka Findlay, Lecturer Sport & Fitness, Perth College UHI

I am a Sports lecturer at Perth College delivering across a range of levels from NQ to degree. I come from a sporting background having played badminton from 8 years old, trained and competed with the Scottish National Team for 7 years, and previously worked with a sports technology company alongside coaching National Junior Squads before joining the college. Due to my sporting background this research topic was a great interest for me to both explore, understand and support females in sport.

Susannah Wilson, Curriculum Lead: National Qualifications and John Rayneau, Argyll College UHI

Susannah Wilson is the Learning and Teaching Enhancement lead at Argyll College UHI, and also has responsibility for the National Qualifications delivered within the college. Her teaching responsibilities include Higher English and courses within teacher education, including the TQFE. Susannah is currently studying towards an EdD through the Open University, focusing on formative assessment in an F.E learning context.

John Rayneau, Lecturer Math, Argyll College UHI

John Rayneau is a maths lecturer at Argyll College UHI. He has taught within secondary and further education contexts, including his role as lead practitioner in maths at secondary level. He also writes maths textbooks and is part of the Secondary Maths author team at Oxford University Press. John’s articles draw from his experiences in mathematics education and nursing.


Registration for the event

The event on the 8 March must be booked through Eventbrite using an educational institution email.  If you are not affiliated with an educational institution but would like to attend, please book the event and email to outline your interest in attending the event.


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