Gender equality and representation within and beyond the University of the Highlands and Islands : A book in celebration of International Women’s Day 2021


Alexandra Walker (ed)
Carolin Radtke (ed)


International Women’s Day, gender equality, gender representation, women equality, education, curriculum, learning and teaching, research, university


Observed annually every 8th of March, International Women’s Day is held as a worldwide day of celebration, protest and, in some countries, as a national holiday. 

The annual University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) event to mark International Women’s Day, which first took place in 2018, sets out to explore and champion gender equality and representation in education, raise awareness and influence initiatives to support women working and studying in education, and champion gender equality and diversity in learning and teaching, curriculum design and other key aspects of academic work, practice and research. 

This book brings together a substantial collection of chapters based on or inspired by the themes, issues and challenges that were explored at the University of the Highlands and Islands celebration of International Women’s Day 2021. Drawing upon contributions from colleagues across the university, and with a foreword from external keynote speaker Dr Natalie Jester, the chapters put forth in this volume explore and reflect on gender representation and equality within dimensions that include: discipline related practice, teaching and research; in curriculum design and development; in supporting or leading the development of learning and teaching; and in relation to institutional gender equality policy, initiatives and interventions.

The book and the chapters therein are organised into three thematic parts. Section 1 explores ‘Gender equality in education: the wider context and UHI initiatives to champion equality for women’. Section 2 shares ‘Personal experiences and professional outlooks’, while Section 3 is focused on ‘Addressing gender balance and representation at UHI’. Although authored by colleagues at UHI, and drawing on examples and initiatives within a shared institutional context, the chapters and the book overall have a much broader focus and draw upon examples, literature, research and initiatives from across the wider education sector and from the fields of women’s studies and gender equality and representation. While UHI provides a contextual lens for many although not all of the chapters presented, the book sets out to contend with a range of relevant issues that will resonate in other higher education institutions and within academia and academic research more widely.


  • Foreword
    Natalie Jester
  • Introduction
    Alexandra Walker
  • Chapter 1: Women’s networks in further and higher education -
    key considerations for cultural change, digital engagement and responding to COVID-19
    Alexandra Walker
  • Chapter 2: Implementing the Aurora leadership development programme in the University of the Highlands and Islands -
    insights and implications
    Ann Tilbury
  • Chapter 3: Distancing the (privileged) male from the machine -
    supporting gender balance and representation through acts of allyship in academic processes and practices
    Keith Smyth
  • Chapter 4: Larissa Kennedy - We’re not settling. Because in many ways…we don’t have much to lose
    Ash Morgan
  • Chapter 5: The impact of feminist art practice and theory on pedagogical practices from a personal and institutional perspective
    Roxane Permar
  • Chapter 6: Attracting women into engineering – a personal reflection
    Lois Gray
  • Chapter 7: Promoting autistic women in science -
    benefits for their own dedicated society
    A. Jay van der Reijden
  • Chapter 8: Aiming for Awesome -
    improving perceptions of engineering amongst girls through a digital, STEAM based intervention
    Blair Watson
  • Chapter 9: Highland Women in STEM
    Chloe Rodgers
  • Chapter 10: Gender Studies -
    Library provision and support via a Gender Studies ‘Libguide’
    Elizabeth McHugh
  • Chapter 11: In the Menority
    Emma Sinclair, Julie Jones, Alastair Davidson, Heather Keyes, Stuart Hall, Fiona Skinner
  • Closing thoughts
    Heather Fotheringham
International Womens Day ebook cover


September 10, 2021