Aurora Launch Event

On Friday 27 January 2017 we held our Aurora Launch event for this year’s participants in the Aurora Leadership programme.  The event was well attended by participants, mentors and alumni and guest speakers.

The event was opened by Anna Radley welcoming everyone and explaining all about the programme and what to expect and how to get the best out of the experience.

Anna Radley

Abigail Rickard

Abigail Rickard and Irene Barranco, two of our Aurora alumni then spoke about their experiences of taking part and how it has affected them since.


Irene Barranco

After a break for tea, cake and a chat, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Javier Bonet spoke giving his personal thoughts on leadership.  He was followed by our HR Director, Frances Hewison, who talked about her life in HE at the Aurora Launch and the transformative nature of education.

Javier Bonet
Frances Hewison

Everybody enjoyed the event and are looking forward to starting the programme very soon.  Good luck and our best wishes goes to all those taking part this year, and our thanks also goes to those who are acting as mentors for them.

Real-life ‘James Bond Q’ is a woman, MI6 reveals

The real-life equivalent of Q in the James Bond films is a woman, the head of MI6 has said.

Alex Younger, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, made the revelation as he encouraged more women to join the service.

He said there is a stereotype that MI6 spies were posh and he wanted recruits from diverse backgrounds.

The character of Q, a technology expert, has always been played by a man in the Bond films.

Speaking at the Women in IT awards on Wednesday, Mr Younger said: “The real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman.”  More

Parents short-changing girls on pocket money, survey shows

Boys receive £2.20 more pocket money a week than girls, a survey has found, suggesting the gender pay gap starts early and in the home.

Boys aged five to 16 get on average £10.70 a week made up from pocket money, a paid job or paid chores. Girls are on £8.50 a week, data suggests.

The survey of 2,000 UK children by researchers Childwise also found boys were given more financial independence.

Parents were teaching girls and boys differently about money, it found.

The majority of children receive some sort of regular weekly payment, typically pocket money from their parents, data suggested. Only one in five had a paid job.  More

Girlguiding To Welcome Transgender Children And Leaders Under Official New Guidelines

New guidelines from Girlguiding state that transgender children and leaders are welcome in the organisation in a move to support anyone who identifies as a girl or woman.

The 107-year-old organisation now officially opens its doors to those who were assigned male at birth but self-identify as female.

The guidelines state that children from the age of five can join Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides if they identify as female.

Fine firms for sexist dress rules, say MPs

The government must enforce the law to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women, MPs say.

Their report follows the experience of London receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work in December 2015 for not wearing high heels.

Her parliamentary petition on the issue gained more than 150,000 signatures.

MPs also heard from women asked to wear shorter skirts and unbutton blouses, and of dress codes detailing nail varnish shade and hair root colour.

The joint report, High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes, comes from parliamentary committees for Petitions and for Women and Equalities.  More

Disabled access: Premier League clubs may face sanctions over lack of improvement


Premier League clubs are prioritising finance over improving access and should face legal action if they fail to meet the needs of disabled fans, according to a new report.

Several clubs including Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford are likely to miss a deadline on meeting basic standards.

The Culture, Media and Sport select committee says it is unconvinced the league would punish clubs itself.

However, the Premier League says it is “working extremely hard” on access.  More

Obituary: Clare Hollingworth – War Corresondent


Clare Hollingworth was the war correspondent who broke the news that German troops were poised to invade Poland at the start of World War Two.

She went on to report on conflicts across the world but it was that moment that defined her career.

She was by no means the first female war reporter, but her depth of technical, tactical and strategic insight set her apart.

And, even as she approached her 11th decade, she still kept her passport by her bed in case she should be called to another assignment.   More

Greg Clarke says gay footballers could come out together at start of season


Greg Clarke, the Football Association chairman, has spoken to gay footballers and suggested the idea of a group of players coming out together.

Clarke said last year that he “wouldn’t recommend” a footballer coming out at the moment because of the risk they would be verbally abused, but believes several players sharing the spotlight may be the answer. “I put the message out there that if a number of top-level pros want to come out, why don’t we synchronise it? So one person doesn’t have to come out on their own,” he said in an interview with the Times newspaper.

“The Premier League, the Football League and the FA could do it at the start of the season. At the start of the season everybody thinks it is their season, the crowds are happy, the sun is shining. I was asked [recently] if football is ready for top-level pros to come out and I said I’m not sure we were.  More