University of Plymouth Women's Network

Welcome to the University of Plymouth Women's Network

The Women's Network was established in 2015 to empower women within the University and promote a culture of high performance and respect. We aim to support female staff by providing a forum for discussion, debate and individual development, focusing specifically on providing a unified voice for people who identify as a woman and is open to all staff within our University community.

The Network is co-chaired by Trudie Haywood and Jess Darling and guided by the Advisory Group. Any member of the Women’s Network can apply to join the Advisory Group which aims to have representation from across the University. Colleagues who may be on maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave are also warmly welcomed as ‘virtual’ network members. If this is something that you would be interested in taking part in please email

Our aims:

  • A platform for the voice and views of women within the University to be represented and channeled.
  • A forum of debate on issues that are pertinent to women in the workplace.
  • A forum for networking across the organisation for women to share experiences and offer support to one another in confidence.
  • To provide development activities and events for women including mentoring and support.

Join the network here

Women in leadership

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

Marked annually on 8 March, International Women's Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women's achievements
  • raise awareness about women's equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities 

This year we celebrated inspirational women in leadership.

Athena Swan

We are a long-term supporter of the Athena Swan (Scientific Women's Academic Network) charter. This is a national scheme, focused on advancing equality for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education. 

Athena Swan was established in 2005 and is managed by the UK Equality Challenge Unit (now part of Advance HE) who recognise and celebrate good practices in higher education and research institutions advancing gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. 

Find out more about our Athena work

Gender Equality Toolkit

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team, in collaboration with the Women's Network, has put together a Gender Equality Toolkit.

This toolkit comprises of a range of resources handpicked by our Women's Network to inform and entertain you, including films, documentaries, podcasts, books (both fiction and non-fiction), articles, websites and more.

Browse the Gender Equality Toolkit

Marking the life and achievements of Plymouth's first female doctor

In the centenary of women’s suffrage, the University and Plymouth City Council installed a blue plaque to honour Plymouth’s first woman doctor Rosa Bale, who practised as a GP in Portland Square.

“At a time when glass ceilings would have been ten metres thick, she not only qualified as a doctor, but was a revered speaker and made a huge difference to local public health in Plymouth.” Professor Hilary Neve.


The Women's Network stands in solidarity with UPSU in remembering Sarah Everard and together we will #ReclaimTheseStreets. You can read our statement and access support through our dedicated #ReclaimTheseStreets page. The safety of women in society is everyone’s responsibility and we also want you to help us with recommended resources on male allyship.