Welcome to the University's Women at Leeds Network, formerly known as WiSET (Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology).

WaLN is part of the our active support for women working and studying across the University and supports the University’s Athena SWAN activities.

WaLN currently has two key strands of activity:

  • a regular monthly network meeting, the First Wednesday Club, which allows the opportunity to network with female colleagues from across disciplines and includes invited speakers to offer advice, support and share their experiences of developing a career as a woman at Leeds;
  • an e-mail network which allows circulation of information on forthcoming First Wednesday meetings, as well as any other information which might be of interest or value to members of the network. If you'd like to join this network, please subscribe here.

The network is open to everyone at the University.

Women at Leeds Network logo

About us

The Women at Leeds Network exists to support colleagues at the University. 

The network's managed by a committee of volunteers from across campus, and we're always keen to hear from colleagues who'd like to be involved with the committee and take an active role in WaLN's activities.

Contact us

If you'd like to join the virtual network – the email list – please subscribe here.

If you're interested in becoming part of the committee, please contact Gemma Griffiths or Sarah Ward.


We host a themed, monthly network meeting, the First Wednesday Club, usually held on the first Wednesday of the month.

The First Wednesday Club takes many forms, sometimes we deliver a skills session on a key topic such as assertiveness, other sessions have had a guest speaker followed by a Q&A session and open discussion. We hope to expand our events in the coming academic year and we are always open to new ideas and suggestions.

If you have an idea for a topic that the First Wednesday Club should cover, please get in touch with Gemma Griffiths or Sarah Ward.

Ultimately, it's a chance for women from across campus to come together and network in a friendly, supportive environment.

Upcoming Event

'The Invisible Woman: Dealing with Erasing'

Date: Wednesday 11 July 2018

Time: 10am to 3pm

Venue: Great Woodhouse Suite, University House

An open event for women at the University of Leeds.

Two academics co-author a book, but only the male author is cited at a conference; a manager plays a major role in developing and introducing a key new policy but in presentations it somehow becomes the idea of her male boss; two people are interviewed for local radio but the female contributor is given less airtime than her male colleague…

Do any of these situations sound familiar? These are just some of the daily ‘erasures’ in the world of academia, business and beyond, that make women feel invisible – that their contributions are unacknowledged and overlooked.

So, how can women stop these ‘erasures’ happening and, when they do occur, how can they deal with them in a in a calm and assertive manner? This interdisciplinary event is intended to help answer these questions. It will cross boundaries, as we share examples and develop ways of dealing with casual or deliberate minimalizing of our work. We hope this will be one of many steps in a systematic approach that will help women develop a more visible presence in a variety of fields, professional and personal.

The event is aimed at academics, support staff and students. We believe in inclusivity and with this belief, we would like to invite all women from across the University, regardless of background or position, to join us for this insightful event which will help us make our presence more perceptible in our communities.

To register for the event, please email l.williams@leeds.ac.uk. A light lunch and refreshments will be available, so please advise if you have any dietary requirements.

Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Past Events

Some of the topics covered in the past are:

My Career – Serendipity or Strategy? Dr Cath Noakes, School of Civil Engineering and Dr Jane Cahill, School of Healthcare
Role Models and Visibility: Promoting STEM as a career path for women Dr Fiona Gill, School of Earth and Environment
Developing assertiveness and working with confidence Nicola Neath, Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service
Travels with my Family: Work-life balance on four continents Barbara Evans, School of Civil Engineering
Imposter Syndrome Anita Blakeston, School of Physics and Astronomy and Sami Bageghni, School of Medicine
How to get promoted Alison Jones, School of Mechanical Engineering, Michelle Nettleton, HR, Alumut Beige and Lorna Dougan, School of Physics and Astronomy
Feminism in the 21st Century Dr Jonathan Dean, School of Politics & International Studies

Useful links

The following links provide useful information or signposting about HR issues and equality and diversity matters.

The list is not exhaustive and the University does not endorse any external organisations by listing the links.

University of Leeds links

University of Leeds HR – http://hr.leeds.ac.uk/

University of Leeds Equality Policy Unit – http://www.equality.leeds.ac.uk/

Organisational Development and Professional Learning (formerly SDDU) – peopledevelopment.leeds.ac.uk

STEM at Leeds – www.stem.leeds.ac.uk/

Leeds University Union – www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/

Trade unions

Unite – www.unitetheunion.org/

Unison – www.unison.org.uk/

UCU – www.ucu.org.uk/

NUS – www.nus.org.uk/

Women in STEM

The WISE Campaign – www.wisecampaign.org.uk/

Women’s Engineering Society – www.wes.org.uk/

Women in Science, Engineering & Technology – www.wiset.org.uk/

STEMettes – www.stemettes.org/

Science Grrl – http://sciencegrrl.co.uk/

Daphne Jackson Trust (for women returning to STEM) – www.daphnejackson.org/

IOP Women in Physics Group – www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/wip/index.html

Trowel Blazers – http://trowelblazers.com/

Your Life – www.yourlife.org.uk/

Computer Science Online - http://www.computerscienceonline.org/cs-programs-for-women/

Organisations promoting STEM generally

There are many organisations promoting science, engineering, technology and maths to society at large, with many having a specific focus on young people, such as:

STEMNET – www.stemnet.org.uk/

Stimulating Physics Network – www.stimulatingphysics.org/

West Yorkshire STEM – www.wystem.co.uk/