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Women@DU are seeking to appoint 2 new Co-Chairs, 1 from our academic community and 1 from our professional services community, to help lead the network

Women@DU seeks new Co-Chairs!


Women@DU is a network for staff from across Durham University who identify as female, which supports the sharing of experiences, opportunities and knowledge, and offers mutual support and a networking space to discuss issues that are important to us. The network was established in the summer of 2018, and since then we have hosted a number of different events for the network including (for example) events on Imposter Syndrome, Menopause, and networking sessions, whilst inviting in exciting external speakers such as Vicky Jack (the first Scottish woman to climb the 7 summits) and Shahroo Izadi (author of the Kindness Method). The work of the network is led by the Women@DU planning group, which consists of a number of academic and professional service colleagues from across the University.


We are seeking to appoint 2 new Co-Chairs, 1 from our academic community and 1 from our professional services community, to help lead the network. The network is a space open to all staff, which seeks to bring together academic and professional service communities, hence the joint leadership model. This opportunity is open to any staff member at Durham that identifies as female, regardless of position, grade, or division within which you work.


The role of the co-chairs is varied, and includes leading the network through chairing the Women@DU planning group in delivering it’s programme of activities, whilst also acting as an advocate and contributor to the University’s wider EDI agenda. This has previously included taking part in activities such as contributing to the recruitment of the new PVC for EDI, supporting the development of a new executive training programme on EDI, and providing feedback on the establishment of the new University EDI fund.


The role is a very exciting opportunity for professional development, and offers candidates the chance to not only feed into activities such as the above gaining valuable professional experience, but also helps to widen your own networks of colleagues across the university (particularly through engaging with the other staff networks, EDI unit, HR colleagues, and members of the executive), and beyond, through (for example) engaging with other women’s networks in different universities. Whilst currently there is no remuneration or workload recognition for Chairing staff networks, discussions are ongoing to provide such support to individuals in these roles.


It is a really exciting time for Durham in the wider EDI space, given the appointment of the new PVC EDI and the ongoing work to deliver the Respect Commission, with still much to be achieved in supporting a change to ensure Durham is an inclusive and positive place to work and study for all.


If you are interested in applying for the role, please submit a brief of up to 300 words to the current co-chairs Jane Macnaughton ( and Lorna Wilson (, which outlines your interest in the role, and why you think you’d be a strong candidate to take on the role of co-chair. The deadline for submissions is 12 noon on Monday 7th February.


The current co-chairs Jane and Lorna are both very happy to take questions or have a discussion with interested candidates.


We hope you’ll be interested in the opportunity, and wish you the best of luck with your submissions!