UCL Astrea held its inaugural conference on Tuesday 2 December – a day of celebration and support for professional services women in the higher education sector and beyond.
‘Culture Shift 50:50’ was a lively and engaging day packed with talks, activities and networking hosted at the prestigious British Library Conference Centre with more than 200 women from UCL, and other institutions, in attendance.
The Astrea network was founded only a year or so ago by Alice Chilver and Emma Todd, two colleagues in The Bartlett, UCL’s faculty of the built environment. Noticing that there was a gap in the ready availability of support and networking for UCL professional services women, Astrea has been established to:
“…empower women. And by doing so, to get women to realise their potential. We plan to do this by building a network where women can learn from each other; where our members can find mentors and role models; where they can talk about issues of common concern and where we can discuss what needs to change to reach 50/50 leadership.” (‘Our aims’, Astrea website).
The conference follows on from a year of successful events, many of which focused on key topics that Astrea has identified – career development, resilience, networking techniques – and for which there clearly is an appetite to explore further.