Women in Leadership event guide


As part of our work on women in leadership, NUS held its first Women in Leadership Conference last year for officers, staff and students. The aim of the conference was to  provide a space where women from the student movement could focus on and develop their leadership and explore strategies to overcome the structural and cultural barriers for women’s progression.

The conference was a huge success and unions have begun to deliver their own women in leadership events.

Why run a women in leadership event?

Based on the data of women’s representation in the student movement and data on women in other sectors NUS recognises that there is a large disparity between women and men in leadership positions.

Women make up 56.4 per cent of HE students, 55.3 per cent of Postgraduates, 64 per cent of Undergraduates and 46 per cent of FE students.

However, 45 per cent of student officers are women and only 38 per cent are presidents.

The 2011-12 NUS Diversity Survey also highlighted that although women accounted for 64 per cent of non-student and student staff,  the gender profile of senior managers and general managers/ CEOs fails to reflect the students' union workforce overall. Of the 48 general managers/ CEOs who completed the survey, 40 per cent were women and 44 per cent of senior managers were women. 

Holding a women in leadership event is an opportunity to begin to address the barriers women in the student movement can face on their leadership path and provide a range of development opportunities to women students, officers and staff.

Women in Leadership Event Guide

To support unions NUS has created a Women in Leadership Event Guide, which provides tips and ideas for running your own event. The guide covers:

·         Planning your event

·         Agenda and time of event

·         Workshops

·         Speakers

·         Promoting your event

·         A template evaluation form

·         Resources

Students’ Unions Women in Leadership Events

Students’ Unions around the country are also delivering women in leadership events and programmes. The following case studies provide an overview of what unions have done, the resources they’ve used and the impact of their events.

Chester Students' Union
Leeds University Union
Lincoln Students’ Union
Liverpool Hope Students’ Union
Oxford University Students’ Union
University Of Nottingham Students' Union
University College London Union


If you would like to provide a case study of your women in leadership work event or programme of work please contact Mandeep Rupra-Daine, Equality and Diversity Consultant,