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Women in Leadership event hosted at City

The Aurora Women in Leadership programme saw 50 future leaders from across the UK attend action learning sets at Northampton Square


As part of Aurora, the women-only leadership development programme, City has welcomed academic and professional staff from across the UK to a series of action learning sets hosted at the University. Ten participants from City joined women from across the higher education sector to attend the sessions, where they had the opportunity to discuss work-related challenges and identify solutions.

Launched in 2013, the Aurora programme is designed by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) to help women in academic and professional roles develop leadership skills, overcome barriers to success and to build confidence and networks. The programme was devised in order to address the issue of reducing numbers of women in senior posts in higher education outlined by Professor Louise Morley in her paper entitled Women and Higher Education: Absences and Aspiration.

City is committed to gender equality and has pledged to support Aurora by providing mentors, role models and Aurora Champions and by nominating City staff members to take part in the programme.

 Aurora Women in LeadershipAssistant Director of Quality and Academic Development at City, Alison Edridge joined Aurora as a way to develop her leadership skills and to increase her confidence as a leader. Alison said the programme has already helped her to identify areas she can develop in order to be successful.

Alison said: “Participating in Aurora has helped me to think about longer term career planning, which direction I want to take in the future and what I need to do to get there. My hope is that Aurora will help me to maximise my potential as well as the potential of my team. It will enable me to be a more effective member of the department’s senior management team and I plan to make the most of the networking opportunities that are available through the programme.”

Laura Hames, Finance Officer at The University of Exeter attended the event held at City. Commenting on her visit to Northampton Square, Laura said: “I loved my visit to City University London yesterday. The location is perfect, a quiet enclave right in the heart of London.

“The Aurora programme has come at a time in my life when I am starting to seriously think about the next step in my career. So far Aurora has offered me the opportunity to meet other like-minded women and to realise that my circumstances are very similar to many others who are trying to move up the ladder. Most useful has been the identification of gaps in my areas of influence and understanding the art of ‘self-promotion’.”

Professor Carl Stychin, Dean of The City Law School is one of two Aurora Champions at City. He said:

There is no doubt that the higher education sector, like other areas of society, needs to take steps to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles. At City, we are committed to making progress in this regard and Aurora is one of the means by which we hope that we can improve.

Elizabeth Huckle, Senior International Student Adviser at City said: “Participating in the Aurora programme has given me an opportunity to develop my skills as a manager and to think about what it means to be a ‘leader’ within the University. It has been fantastic to meet and network with so many inspirational women within the sector.

“With ten participants on the Aurora programme from City University, hosting the action learning sets here meant that we could enjoy a shared lunch with women from all over the country who are also taking part in Aurora. It was great to share experiences and learn from people from such a wide variety of institutions.”


Aurora is a leadership development initiative, developed by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education that combines education, mentoring and on-line resources to provide learning with a more enduring impact. Aurora provides an additional opportunity for women to influence their institutions and to develop leadership skills.

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