International Women's Day and Women's History Month

Each year, the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout society are celebrated during Women's History Month and, on March 8, International Women's Day – which is also a time to reflect on the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender parity.

Throughout the month, the University will be sharing inspirational stories and achievements of women from across the institution. We will also be featuring events being held by the University and the Union of Kingston Students, themed around gender equality.


*Artwork in banner image by Dr Makayla Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Kingston University.

As a minority ethnic male co-chair of the institutional Athena Swan, I live the principle of equality for all staff and students of all backgrounds and aim to champion intersectionality and gender as a spectrum.

Dr Al-Kinani, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmaceutics

Dr Al-Kinani, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmaceutics

Representation is important. I think it fills an internal yearning that validates you and almost gives you permission to take your place in the professional world. It says that you can, it says that you should, it says glass and concrete ceilings can be broken.

Paula Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and Department Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Paula Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and Department Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Inspire Inclusion

International Women's Day this year is inviting us to #InspireInclusion. This year's theme is to emphasise the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society and help build a more equitable and inclusive society for generations to come.

Members of our Kingston community have come together and shared photographs of themselves demonstrating their commitment to this year's theme with an embrace stance. We will be sharing more of these throughout March across our social media platforms

Smiling Kingston University student

Meet Dr Makayla Lewis, who created this year's inspired artwork

Dr Makayla Lewis (She/They), a trailblazer in human-computer interaction, focusing on digital accessibility, creative computing, and cutting-edge UX design. Makayla delves deep into design thinking, cybersecurity, AI, and mark-making, showcased in numerous prestigious publications. As a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University London, Makayla aims to inspire postgraduate students, unveiling the marvels of Design Thinking, Qualitative Research and Sketching Users in the captivating world of User Experience Design. Join Makayla's journey and ignite your passion for innovation and creativity at Kingston University.

Makayla Lewis' artwork for Inclusion

Meet the women behind The WISH - Women In STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Hub project

The project, called WISH - Women In STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Hub, was supported financially by ECE and led by two women academics in ECE, Dr Purva Tavri, Lecturer in Environmental Management, and Dr Farzana Rahman, Lecturer in Computer Science. The project started in 2023 with an emphasis on acknowledging the outstanding research and impacts women in our field and beyond are making. This project is an initiative to create a platform for women to share their research and experiences and collaborate and network with people from interdisciplinary areas.

Last year, WISH funded six interdisciplinary research projects led by women in ECE and invited four leading women academics and professionals from industry to the University to deliver seminars and workshops. The speakers shared their insightful journeys and experiences, contributing to the overall mission of empowering women in STEM fields. The project has been very positively received and WISH was recognised at the Kingston University People Awards 2023 as the runner-up team in the Enterprising category. We aim to make this project a pioneer for enhancing research culture and multidisciplinary collaborations within Kingston University.

Our future scope is to work with UK-wide institutions to improve EDI and interdisciplinary research and innovation culture nationally.

In the photograph: Kingston University People Award 'Enterprising' runner-ups, Purva Tavri, Jean-Christophe A Nebel and Farzana Rahman (from left to right)

Kingston University People Award ‘Enterprising' runner-ups smiling at camera and holding certificates

Kingston University's commitment to gender equity

Athena Swan

We are proud to hold an institutional bronze Athena Swan charter mark along with silver awards at Departmental level within Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry and Computer, Science and Mathematics.

We embrace the Athena Swan Charter as a way to help us realise change and continue to promote and achieve gender equality.

Leadership development

For our staff, we offer opportunities for leadership development through programmes such as Aurora, Diversifying Leadership and StellarHE to help enable female staff to achieve their ambitions in leadership.

In the photograph: Athena Swan co-chairs, Dr Ali Al-Kinani (left) and Dr Ricarda Micallef (right), holding their Athena Swan bronze certificate.

Dr Yuliana Topazly

What's on?

There is a huge amount going on through March. 

Students can visit the UKS website - Women's History Month - to find out more, and staff can refer to StaffSpace.

University leaders discuss career experiences, role models and advice for students

"You feel you need to prove yourself above and beyond if you're the only woman in the room, or the only woman of a younger age in the room – you feel that perhaps there could be a sense of people assuming you're not of the same level of experience as them for whatever reason."

Caroline Harries, Kingston University's Chief Financial Officer, and Mandy Ure, Dean of Kingston School of Art, met during Women's History Month to discuss some of the challenges they have faced throughout their careers. As senior figures at the University, and part of the Senior Leadership Team, they offer advice to the next generation of female leaders and share inspirational role models throughout their working life. Their discussion also explores the importance of support networks and the role of allies in helping support women to achieve their full potential.

KU women in the news

Kingston University's annual Woman in STEM Award

A computer science expert whose research could lead to potentially lifesaving early and better diagnosis of certain cancers and heart disease has been named the second annual winner of the Kingston University Woman in STEM Award.

Jackie McRae

Leading speech and language therapy expert at Kingston receives national recognition for Covid-19 work

One of the country's leading speech and language therapy experts, based at Kingston University and St George's, University of London, has received awards from two national organisations for her key work in spinal cord injury research and in the battle against Covid-19.

Pamela Hutchinson

Kingston University graduate recognised in New Year's Honours

A diversity and inclusion champion who is among a group of celebrated individuals from the Kingston University community recognised in the latest New Year's Honours list has reflected on the importance of her legacy to ensure equality of opportunity for the next generation.

Jessica Bell, Student Nurse of the Year

Kingston University student named Student Nurse of the Year

A Kingston University undergraduate has been hailed as Student Nurse of the Year by a leading Chief Nursing Officer for her work in improving outcomes for people with learning disabilities.

Gender equality resources

Student and staff picks



  • No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • Ladies Can't Climb Ladders by Jane Robinson
  • I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  • Ten Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak
  • My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg


  • Hidden Figures
  • Battle of the Sexes
  • On the Basis of Sex
  • Suffragette
  • Daughters of the Dust
  • Colette

Women's organisations

  • WHEN - Women in Higher Education Network
  • The Fawcett Society – Campaigns for equality between women and men in the UK on pay, pensions, poverty, justice and politics.
  • Million Women Rise – A coalition of individual women and representatives from the women's voluntary and community sector which organises an annual national demonstration against male violence that coincides with International Women's Day.
  • Women's Aid – A national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. They support a network of services across the UK.
  • Amazing Women Rock – An online community 'for amazing women and those who appreciate them'.
  • Rights of Women – A women's voluntary organisation committed to informing, educating and empowering women concerning their legal rights.
  • VITAE – Vitae is a national organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes.
  • Forward Ladies – A business networking organisation for professional women.
  • A Guide for Women in STEM – Research shows that women are underrepresented across most technical and scientific fields, including data science. This guide is intended to provide a general background and specific resources for women considering STEM fields.