Women’s development

Women’s development at Leeds

As an Athena SWAN employer, we are committed to creating an environment in which everyone can achieve their full potential. Therefore we offer a range of women’s development programmes and services, designed to support female staff in all roles across our University. Read on to find out more about the range of women’s development that we offer.


Suitability: all female staff

The springboard consultancy logo

Springboard is a three-month personal development programme designed especially for women in the workplace. It works to enable women to achieve greater recognition and influence and fulfil their potential in both their work and personal lives. Through the programme, we explore a range of topics including:

  • self and skills assessment
  • identifying your values
  • setting goals
  • building and communicating an authentic and positive image.

We achieve this through a variety of interactive activities and discussion.


Suitability: mid-career women and those who identify as a woman in academic and professional roles

Aurora is a leadership development programme and so it aims to encourage mid-career women in academic and professional roles, to develop their leadership skills.

The Programme is run by Advance HE and explores a range of topics associated with leadership success over four days. As a participant, you will experience action learning and also receive mentoring support.

Each year our University sponsors a cohort of women in academic and professional roles (typically grade 8-9) to attend. In order to express your interest in taking part, inform your SRDS reviewer and your local HR Manager.

Women Rising

Suitability: female postgraduate researchers and postdoctoral researchers in engineering and physical sciences

Our Women Rising Programme addresses key career development challenges for early career female researchers. Therefore it aims to support your skills development towards achieving your career goals within academia or beyond.

Firstly, you will attend the following linked retreats, totalling four days:

  • Developing Personal Power
  • Developing Professional Power.

The highly interactive programme includes a diverse range of speakers and activities. You will complete an individual Emotional Intelligence (EQ) assessment and receive one-to-one feedback. You will also gain access to the Strengthsfinder tool.

Secondly, you will be invited to follow-up and attend Peer Learning Groups (PLGs) approximately 3-4 months after the retreats finish. Through this you will receive on-going peer and facilitator support. Finally, you will be contacted again for an individual progress update, 9-10 months after participating.

If you currently study or work in engineering or physical sciences research, you can apply for one of the 20 funded places annually. Dates for the new academic year are announced in September.

Additional Resources

Find out more

If you have any questions about the above or our female staff development in general, please contact peopledev@leeds.ac.uk.

Webpage last updated: 27/11/19 | Maintained by: OD&PL Webmaster