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City staff and other members of the Aurora network with Carl Stychin.
Campus Life Series: Announcements

The next generation of female leaders addressing gender equality

City hosts event for the Aurora Programme


As part of ongoing work to address gender equality at the University, Aurora, Future, Change, Growth, women only programmeCity has hosted an interactive event for the Aurora Programme. The event saw 80 women from higher education institutions across the UK take part in action learning sets. The sessions gave participants the chance to discuss a challenge they had experienced in the workplace and then come to solutions through effective questioning.

The Aurora Programme was set up by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education to address the lack of female representation in senior leadership teams across the sector. Research has shown that leadership teams with women are more effective and successful. Future leaders taking part in the Programme can develop their leadership skills, have access to highly successful role models and mentors and the opportunity to network. Since the Programme began in 2013, around 1500 women across 128 institutions and higher education bodies have taken part.

City is supporting the Programme as one of the steps towards tackling a disparity in the number of women the University has in recognised leadership roles. In 2015, ten female staff completed the Aurora Leadership Development Programme and this year 11 took part from across the University.

Leena Dattani-Demirci,Professional Development Manager at Cass Business School said she got involved with the programme as part of her professional development and to increase her confidence. As an individual working within learning and development, Leena also thought the increased knowledge would help her to design and deliver better training for the students she works with.

The action learning set held at City, Leena said was “incredibly useful”. Leena said:

Members of my action learning set commented on how impressed they were with the effort the University and the Organisational Development team had gone to ensure the smooth running of the day. This day allowed me to connect on a personal and professional level and develop new friendships. At the end of the day I felt really inspired and energised and had some great ideas to mull over.
Leena Dattani-Dermirci, Professional Development Manager

Dean of The City Law School, Carl Stychin is the Aurora Champion for the University. He said:

I am very pleased to act as Aurora Champion for City and it is gratifying to hear that it has been a positive experience for our colleagues. I know that our Aurora ‘graduates’ share their learning with others in the University. In this way, my hope is that the Programme can make a sustainable and significant contribution across the institution.
Carl Stychin, Aurora Champion for City University London

Rachel Scott Halls, User Services Manager said she found all aspects of the Programme beneficial, both “professionally and personally”. She said:

The whole process from application, interview, development days and the action learning sets have given me lots to reflect upon and I am already putting much into practice. It has given me the confidence I needed to start thinking about my future career and how I can develop my skills and expertise to benefit not just me, but my team, my service, and the University as a whole. The opportunity to network with women from a diverse range of institutions and backgrounds has provided me with valuable insights and I have felt that, as well as gaining a lot, I have also been able to contribute much to others on the Programme.
Rachel Scott Halls, User Services Manager

The City staff taking part this year are:

  • Leena Dattani-Demirci, Professional Development Manager at Cass Business School
  • Jessica Ferguson, HR Manager
  • Lucy Myers, Lecturer School of Health Sciences
  • Sarah Wood, Widening Participation and Outreach Manager
  • Sophie Roberts, Rankings Manager at Cass Business School
  • Michelle Ellis, Senior Lecturer at School of Health Sciences
  • Rachel Connell, Senior Course Officer at School of Health Sciences
  • Rachel Scott-Halls, User Services Manager
  • Kirsty Harrison, Lecturer at School of Health Sciences
  • Laudan Nooshin, Programme Director at School of Arts and Sanmeet
  • Kaur-Dua, Lecturer at City Law School

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