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QGI Archives

Welcome to the QGI Archives. Here you can access various information from the history of the Gender Initiative, including conference schedules, publications and images.

QGI Archives

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Women’s Leadership Conference

Anne Morrison - BAFTA Chair

The Institute of Directors is running a Women’s Leadership Conference this year in Titanic Belfast entitled Leading for the Future.

Speakers at this year’s conference will cover such topics as agile working, improving performance, recruiting Generation Z, tackling new markets, and the impact of changing technology.

Speakers include:

Susan Hayes Culleton will host the day, which will feature the popular Marketplace showcasing the produce of companies run by local business women. 

The conference will run between 8.30 and 16.30 on Friday 11th March.

Tickets cost £90 (excl. VAT) and can be booked here.

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Post Graduate & Post-Doctoral Training Course

Encouraging Female Academic Careers

Presented by Queen’s Gender Initiative

Monday, January 25th 2016 @ 09.30 - 16.00

The Graduate School, Queen's University Belfast

Sold Out




Session One
09.45 Introduction Professor Yvonne Galligan
10.00 Importance of Social Media in Developing Research Impact Shawn Day
10.30 What Queen's Gender Initiative Can Do For You Professor Yvonne Galligan
11.00 Coffee  
11.30 What Mentoring Can Do For You Dr. Jennifer McKinley
12.00 Making Your Voice Heard at Meetings Dr. Karen McCloskey
12.30 Life from a Postgraduate Perspective Evelyn Keaveney
12.45 Life from a Postdoctoral Perspective Laura Patrick
13.00 Lunch  


Session Two
13.45 The Great and The Good: The Impact of Role Models Dr. Jillian Thompson
14.15 What Subject Associations Can Do For You Dr. Maria Lohan
14.45 Personal Career Planning: Doing it All Professor Ruth Morrow
15.15 What is Great about an Academic Career Professor Teresa Mc Cormack
15.45 Reinforcement and Conclusion Professor Teresa Mc Cormack

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"A Growth Mindset" with Ms Elaine Coughlan

Clare MacMahon Annual Lecture 2015

Presented by Queen’s Gender Initiative, in partnership with the Queen’s Management School

Tuesday 13th October 2015 @ 16:00

The Senate Room, Queen's University Belfast

Large turnout expected, registration recommended



ELAINE COUGHLAN - General Partner

Elaine is a co-Founder and General Partner of Atlantic Bridge Capital a Global Growth Equity Technology Fund with over $450 million of assets  undermanagement, and over $300m of co-investment from Limited Partners. She is also a co-founder of Summit Bridge Capital which is a China Ireland focused Fund aimed at helping Irish companies scale in China. The team and Fund are backed by China Investment Corp which is the World’s 5th largest Sovereign investor with > $585bn of capital under management and Irelands Sovereign Wealth Fund NTMA. Summit Bridge is jointly managed by Atlantic Bridge and West Summit Capital and brings extensive networks in China to Irish companies.

Elaine has over 20 year’s operational experience as CFO/COO in scaling technology companies with extensive operational and M&A experience. Previously Elaine was a Co-founder and non-executive director of GloNav Inc, a GPS software and hardware business successfully sold to NXP for $110 million in 2008. Prior to Atlantic Bridge Elaine as CFO and or VP Finance took 3 high growth technology companies public on both NASDAQ and LSE. These three successful technology initial public offerings and secondary offerings for Parthus, IONA and Smartforce on NASDAQ raised more than $1.6 billion in capital.

Elaine is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a qualified Chartered Director. She was named as one of Europe’s Top 100 Women in Technology and appointed by the Irish Government to the Board of Enterprise Ireland in 2014.

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International Women's Day 2017 at QUB

Professor Dame Vicki Bruce

This year there are a number of exciting events taking place in Queen's University to celebrate International Women's Day 2017. This year's theme is #BeBoldForChange, which aims to draw awareness to the fact that the current projected year for gender parity is the distant year of 2186. #BeBoldForChange suggests that we take bolder steps in our campaign for gender parity, either as individuals or as large groups. You can find out more here, at the official IWD 2017 website.


6th March - “Careering Around” with Professor Dame Vicki Bruce

  • The Annual Clare Macmahon Lecture, presented by Queen's Gender Initiative.


8th March - “What's wrong with losing citizenship? Examining state powers to withdraw citizenship” 


9th March - Be Bold for Change: Reflections of Scholar and Activist, Angela Davis

  • Presented by Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics (CAWP).


10th March -  “The gender challenge: Can business be bold enough to make the change?” with Deborah McConnell

  • 5pm in the Canada Room. Contact Patricia Kelly to RSVP.
  • "Deborah McConnell is the Head of Workplace with Business in the Community.  The Workplace Campaign supports and inspires businesses to take a strategic approach to wellbeing and creating inclusive workplaces through addressing age and gender balance. Deborah has over ten years’ experience supporting employers to develop best practice in relation to responsible business with a focus on employee engagement.   In her current role she works with public and private sector businesses throughout Northern Ireland on a range of programmes including the Gender Project which works with best practice organisations to develop effective gender balance in the workplace."

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Athena SWAN Success

Queen’s remains one of the leading institutions in the UK for its work on gender equality following the latest round of Athena SWAN Awards.

Five Schools have been recognised for their commitment to gender equality and career progression. They are:

  • Biological Sciences - renewal of Gold award
  • Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences  - renewal of Silver award
  • Education – Bronze award
  • Politics, International Studies and Philosophy – Bronze award
  • History and Anthropology – Bronze award

These latest awards build on our success from earlier this year when we became one of the first universities to receive Athena SWAN awards for non-STEMM subjects.

In addition to its Institutional Silver Award, the University now holds 15 departmental awards, including two gold, eight silver and five bronze.

Chair of the University SWAN Steering Group Professor Tom Millar said:

"I am absolutely delighted that this set of three new departmental awards in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the renewals of Silver and Gold to the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences and Biological Sciences, respectively, reflects the centrality of the Athena SWAN charter to promoting women’s careers in Queen’s.

The awards represent a glowing testimony to the enormous amount of work undertaken by academic and research staff and by undergraduate and postgraduate students in our Schools in promoting gender equality. They reinforce the fact that Queen's is one of the leading institutions in the UK for its work on gender equality."

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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences take Bronze. Twice!

The School of Modern Languages and the School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work are among only 5 departments in the UK to receive the new Athena SWAN AHSSBL Bronze Award. This award covers Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law departments.

This update to the Athena SWAN Charter occurred in May 2015. It also includes revisions to recognise work in professional & support roles, and addresses equality for trans staff and students. The charter now not only focuses on barriers to progression that affect women, but has expanded to cover all efforts undertaken to address gender equality more broadly.

For more information on the SWAN Awards currently held by the University click here.

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International Women's Day 2016

With International Women’s Day 2016 fast approaching, Queen’s Gender Initiative has compiled a collection of exciting events taking place around Northern Ireland during February and March that celebrate women and their achievements. This year’s theme is Pledge for Parity, with everyone being asked to do what they can to accelerate the slow march towards gender equality. This can be accomplished by helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, calling for gender-balanced leadership, respecting and valuing difference, developing more inclusive and flexible cultures or by rooting out workplace bias. You can make your pledge here!

Women’s Information NI have put together a fantastic programme of events ranging from film screenings to workshops and conferences to rallies. Most of the events listed are free of charge, with a small number such as the ‘Revolution 1916’ bus tour (£15), organised by the Falls Women’s Centre and exploring the contributions of women to the 1916 Rising, being charged at reasonable rates.

Organised by the charity No More Traffik, the Half the Sky movement aims to highlight the oppression of women both at home and in developing countries, and poses the challenge: ‘How can we turn this injustice into opportunity?’ This event takes place in Holywood Baptist Church at 7.30pm on International Women’s Day (8th March), and tickets can be purchased here (£5).

Titanic Belfast are hosting ‘Inspire 2016’, an exhibition held in the Andrews Gallery from the 8th to the 31st of March. Here performers and exhibitors will present work that empowers viewers to use their talents and abilities for the betterment of all.

The Linen Hall Library has developed ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’, a workshop that demonstrates the use of online archives and discusses the importance of archival material in helping individuals and communities explore their history. A particular focus is placed on the use of archives in the study of suffrage, gender and democracy. Advanced booking is recommended as this is a free event.

Belfast City Council are holding a number of lectures in Ulster Hall between the 2nd and 8th of March. All lectures begin with a light lunch at 12.30, and run from 13.00 to 14.00.

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Are You Unconsciously Biased?

Your background, personal experiences, societal stereotypes and cultural context can have an impact on your decisions and actions without you realising.

Unconscious bias happens when our brains make incredibly quick judgments and assessments of people and situations without us realising. Our biases are influenced by our backgroundcultural environment and personal experiences. We may not even be aware of these views and opinions, or of their full impact and implications.

Research has found that unconscious bias can heavily influence recruitment and selection decisions. Several experiments using CV shortlisting exercises have highlighted bias by gender and ethnicity.

A study of science faculties in higher education institutions (Moss-Racusin et al 2012) asked staff to review a number of applications. The applications reviewed were identical, apart from the gender of the name of the applicant.

Science faculties were more likely to:

  • rate male candidates as better qualified than female candidates
  • want to hire the male candidates rather than the female candidates
  • give the male candidate a higher starting salary than the female candidate
  • be willing to invest more in the development of the male candidate than the female candidate

Here, unconscious bias impacts not only on the recruitment decision, but the salary of the individual and the amount of development that is invested in their ongoing progression.

-Article from Equality Challenge Unit


Test Your Unconscious Bias 

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. They have developed a number of tests to measure Unconscious Bias. Follow this link to test your Unconscious Bias. We recommend the Gender-Career and Gender-Science IATs as they relate to our work here at the Queen's Gender Initiative.

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Queen's Celebrates SWAN Success with UMass Lowell Visit

Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative Professor Yvonne Galligan and Dean Professor Tom Millar pictured with Professor Julie Chen, Vice Provost for Research and Professor Paula Rayman, both from UMass Lowell

Queen’s position as a national leader in gender equality practices has been reinforced with the news that we have retained our institutional Athena SWAN silver award. We are one of only five UK universities to hold an institutional silver award which recognises good employment practices for women working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

The Schools of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have also had their Athena SWAN silver awards renewed. In total, the University holds 11 SWAN departmental Awards, including two Gold.

As one of the leading UK universities for tackling the unequal representation of women in science and engineering, Queen’s recently welcomed visitors from UMass Lowell to share best practice and provide mentoring support.

During the visit, representatives from UMass Lowell met the Vice- Chancellor, Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative Professor Professor Yvonne Galligan and the Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Tom Millar.

- Article from Queen's Now, May/June 2015 Edition

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QGI Celebrates Mentoring Scheme Success

Mentoring unlocks potential, and this report evidences the success of the Queen’s Gender Initiative mentoring scheme in unlocking the potential of the 238 women who have taken part in it to date. Initiated as a pilot project in 2001 led by Professor Madeline Ennis, the QGI mentoring programme soon took on a life of its own. It is now an embedded part of QGI activities designed to foster gender equality in the University.

No one is pressured to be involved. Mentors give of their time voluntarily. Mentees benefit from an experienced view of their professional and personal lives. It is independent of School-based appraisal and mentoring programmes. In the QGI mentoring programme, women can explore the next career steps, discuss work-life balance and raise matters of long and short- term significance for their lives. In all, the mentoring programme gives women the space to think about unlocking their potential and developing their full capacities to contribute to the University, and to their world beyond work.

Running the mentoring programme requires interest and dedication by a core group of people, and many have assisted in that work over the years. At present it is led by Ms. Linda Carey, Dr. Maria Lohan and Mrs. Jill Lyttle, with office support from Ms. Cathy Tolan of QGI. To these, and the many others who through the years have helped with interviewing and matching mentors and mentees, we owe deep thanks for their commitment to fostering women’s potential. In all, 238 academic and research staff partook of the scheme up to 2014, of which 152 were from STEMM Schools, and 86 from Arts, Humanities and Social Science Schools.

This report provides evidence for the benefits of the QGI mentoring scheme on women’s working lives: two-thirds of mentees had made a positive career move as a result of being mentored. Participation in the mentoring helped mentees to clarify their career path and increased their confidence in following this through. Those volunteering their time as mentors also gained: their networking opportunities increased, and many were prompted to re-evaluate their own career path, with over half making a positive career move since being involved in the scheme.

Researching the evidence for impact of the mentoring scheme was challenging. It required extensive matching of data held across a number of databases, revisiting paper-based material, and checking with key people in the programme. The author of this report, Jane Garvey of the University’s Equal Opportunities Unit has our grateful appreciation for undertaking this time-consuming, detailed work. Her analysis shows, in robust data form, that the QGI mentoring scheme really does unlock the potential of women in Queen’s University.


- Yvonne Galligan, Director of QGI


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