The Athena SWAN Lecture

The annual Athena SWAN Lecture is one of the most important events in Lancaster University's gender equality calendar. Every year we invite a distinguished female academic to talk about her career in light of gender equality issues. These inspirational events are open to all.‌

‘White woman listen! Black female academics and the boundaries of sisterhood’

2019 - Dr Nicola Rollock - Reader in Equity & Education, Goldsmiths

Dr Nicola Rollock is an academic, consultant and public speaker specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace. She is a member of the Wellcome Trust’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group, part of the British Science Association’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group and a Patron of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter which aims to improve the experiences and progression of students and faculty of colour.

Nicola was also appointed, at the start of 2019, as the Specialist Adviser to the Home Affairs’ Select Committee inquiry – the Macpherson Report 20 Years On - which is examining whether there has been progress in meeting the 70 recommendations published in 1999.

Her most recent research examines the career experiences and strategies of UK Black female Professors, the findings of which were widely covered in the press including WonkHE, The Guardian, Stylist magazine and British Vogue.

This year's Athena SWAN Lecture will take place in LT3 Management School from 10-11am on Friday 21st June 2019.

Tickets are limited, please use our Eventbrite page to book your free place.

If you have any questions, please contact Sophie Black.

Dr Nicola Rollock, Goldsmiths, University of London
Our Athena SWAN Lecture 2019 Guest Speaker - Dr Nicola Rollock, Goldsmiths, University of London

Previous Athena SWAN Guest Speakers have been...

Dr Caroline Dart

'Inclusion and Hidden Barriers: Why Diversity within Universities Matters'

Caroline Dart is a cardiovascular scientist and Reader at the Institute of Integrative Biology (IIB), University of Liverpool. She has led the Athena SWAN initiative within her Institute since 2012, overseeing the successful bid for a Silver Athena SWAN Charter Award in 2013 and a Gold Award in 2017.

Her presentation tackled some of the myths and challenges around the Athena SWAN initiative and highlighted growing evidence for a link between diversity in the workplace and institutional success.  She also shared her experiences of relatively simple and inclusive initiatives around career development and support that helped change the culture within the IIB.

Dr Sharifah Sekalala

Dr Sharifah Sekalala is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Warwick (UK), where she researches regulation within global health institutions. She has also researched the role of intersectionality in enabling women’s participation in global health financing.

In her presentation Dr Sekalala will comment on her own experiences as a Black woman in academia, both positive and negative; she will also encourage us to think about the ways that universities, and the people who work in them, may unintentionally be perpetuating poor practice that can reinforce a sense that Higher Education is not fully inclusive. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A, and the entire event promises to be a thought-provoking discussion.  

Professor Karen Holford

Karen Holford is a Pro Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University and a professor of engineering specialising in acoustic emission, in which field she has led research projects totalling more than £5 million.

She has won numerous accolades including Welsh Woman of the Year in Science and Technology and a WISE Excellence Award for “personal contribution to engineering and a long term commitment to supporting girls and young women in science and engineering”.

A video of her lecture, ‘Damage identification in engineered structures’, can be seen here.

Professor Lesley Yellowlees

Lesley Yellowlees is Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh and a professor of inorganic electrochemistry.

She combines her academic interests with a keen interest in public engagement in science and promoting women in science. 

She became the first woman president of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2012 and is both an MBE and, since 2014, a CBE.

Professor Yellowlees' lecture, 'Women in Science', focused on the 'leaky pipeline' in STEM and asked what could be done to fix it.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

Nancy Rothwell is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester and a professor of physiology.

She has been named as one of the most powerful women in the UK by the Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour, and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2005.

Dame Nancy has a strong interest in public communication of science and makes regular appearances in the media, including being the subject of R4's flagship science programme The Life Scientific.

Her lecture was entitled 'A life in science'.