UWTSD Women’s Network founded on a passion to raise the profile of women at UWTSD


To mark International Women's Day, Alison Harding, Caroline Lewis and Caroline Thraves, founders of UWTSD's Women's Network, talk about UWTSD's first staff network:

As the first staff network of the university we were founded on a shared passion for raising the profile of women at UWTSD, of female empowerment, and creating a supportive, aspirational and motivational space for female staff at all stages of their careers.

Pic of Alison Harding, Caroline Lewis and Caroline Thraves

The Network is open to any staff who identify and/or present as female, and has members from across both academic and professional areas of the organisation.

The network had its launch event in the Summer of 2018 at which we also celebrated the role of women within the Institution, particularly those of the Swansea Training College which was women only for most of its existence. The Swansea Training College is one of the founding institutions of UWTSD. We have since held other events celebrating the role of women in the university, as well as scheduling occasional informal events for sharing and supporting one another in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

The network has also been successful in nominating a number of women for UWTSD Honorary Fellowships and Doctorates, and also actively supported the Advance HE Aurora programme development within the University.

The network has a number of aims:

  1. Provide a safe space for female UWTSD staff to get together in a supportive environment  
  2. Celebrate women’s achievements and contributions to the success of UWTSD, and support the development of visible role models 
  3. Raise the visibility of women at UWTSD, especially in under-represented areas 
  4. Inspire women at UWTSD to feel confident in their approach to career progression 
  5. Value diversity in UWTSD’s female staff both in terms of intersectional characteristics and the different aspirations, career pathways and focuses of staff from across the institution 
  6. Engage with the University through consultation and other means, around EDI policy and strategy development.
  7. Develop relationships with aligned regional, national and international community groups and professional agencies, to learn from best practice, contribute to and benefit from co-operative working, and play an active role in the social, cultural and environmental life of the region.

Since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns we have continued to share resources across the network via our email list and Teams site. We have also established a regular online coffee morning to provide a safe digital space for colleagues to support one another. We have also established links with our sister student network and hope to collaborate in future around events and campaigns of mutual interest.

If any colleagues would like to join the network just get in touch at women@uwtsd.ac.uuk, or DM @UWTSDWomen

  • Alison Harding, Executive Head of Library and Learning Resources
  • Caroline Lewis, Strategic Lead: Post-16 Education, The Institute of Education and Humanities  
  • Caroline Thraves, Academic Director Art & Media, Wales Institute of Science and Art