Case Study: Empowering women through mentoring

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Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some case studies of our academic research from across the Bristol Business School. This case study looks at Professor Sue Durbin and  Empowering women through mentoring.

Written by Jeremy Allen:

In the UK, there is a distinct lack of women in engineering roles and this is prevalent in the aerospace and aviation industries. A project led by UWE Bristol that is four years in the making is helping women to move up the career ladder and to seek support by receiving mentoring from other women in the industry. This work hopes to change the way females are perceived in male-dominated industries and aims to put an end to gender inequality in engineering.

“The UK is the country in Europe that has the least amount of women in engineering and this includes the aerospace industry, where there is a chronic shortage of females,” says project leader Professor Sue Durbin, whose research specialises in gender inequalities in employment in male dominated industries. “Through this project, we want to empower women to gain confidence by receiving non-judgemental female-to-female advice and support, thereby enabling their careers to take off.”

Called ‘alta’, the project enables professional women to access an online platform to help them link up with a suitable female mentor. Based on their answers to online questions, the website’s algorithm then matches up the mentee with the most compatible mentor.

Volunteering mentors are also required to answer questions on the platform to determine whether they have the right skills and personality to oversee someone else’s career development. As well as helping women receive career guidance, alta is beneficial for the mentors, as it helps raise their profile in the profession.

After initial contact, both parties are free to arrange when, where and how often they meet, although they are advised to meet for one to two hours every six weeks.

Under the aegis of the Royal Aeronautical Society, alta is working with Airbus, the Royal Air Force and other partners across the aerospace industry. By signing up to alta and paying a small joining fee, companies can help their female professionals receive mentoring from across the industry – not just from someone in their company.

Such assistance can help women feel valued, to assist them in getting into leadership positions, and increase female retention in the industry. It might also help them gain confidence, receive assistance when they are returning to work after a maternity break, or reduce their suffering from ‘impostor syndrome,’ whereby they feel they don’t deserve to thrive in a male-dominated workplace.

“If we take the Royal Aeronautical Society, it has 25,000 members but just 1700 are women, while in the UK only four percent of pilots are women,” says Professor Durbin. “This puts a lot of pressure on women working in the industry.”

The mentoring project comes at a time when many young women who take STEM subjects are failing to enter the engineering workforce, given the gender stereotyping that can exist in the sector. Professional women engineers also often drop out of the industry or fail to return after maternity leave. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as a “leaky pipeline,” a metaphor used to describe the continuous loss of women in STEM as they climb the career ladder.

Prior to alta’s launch in June 2018, the team organised focus groups, interviews and a survey to decide how the scheme could help professional women in the aerospace and aviation industry. After contacting 250 women, they discovered that existing mentoring was extremely limited in the industry and often did not include women as mentors. They also discovered that women were actively seeking female mentors in senior positions.

“You can’t be who you can’t see,” says Stella Warren, who is Research Associate in the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre and also works on the project. “If you don’t have a female mentor who is a leader in the industry, it is hard to aspire to reaching that same level.”

One mentee who has received mentoring through alta says it has really helped boost her self-belief.

Bristol Distinguished Address Series announces autumn speakers

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UWE Bristol is pleased to announce the latest programme of speakers for the forthcoming Bristol Distinguished Address Series. The lecture series has now been certified for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes by the CPD Certification Service*.

Now in its ninth year, the Bristol Distinguished Address Series is well regarded by the City’s business community as the leading place to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

The Bristol Distinguished Address Series is free to attend and open to members of the business community.

The line up of speakers for the Autumn is:

Wednesday 03 October 2018 : Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Bank UK, will deliver the University’s prestigious Annual Bolland Lecture entitled, ‘Digital Transformation of Banking’.

Wednesday 17 October 2018: Kevin Ellis, Chair and Senior Partner of PwC UK, will deliver a lecture entitled, ‘The Role of Business in a Disrupted World. Why Business Needs to Work Harder to Show its Positive Contribution to Society’.

Wednesday 7 November 2018: Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Achieving Social Change’.

Please contact the Media Relations office if you would like to request a media seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@uwe.ac.uk

The series is delivered by the Bristol Business School in partnership with ACCABristol City CouncilBristol Junior ChamberBristol Law SocietyBristol MediaBusiness LeaderBusiness WestCBICIPDCIPFACMIFSBIoDICAEW and the West of England Combined Authority.

Following the talk, there will be an opportunity for the audience to put forward their issues and questions at this event.

Series organiser, Professor Nicholas O’Regan says, “We are delighted to announce that the series is now CPD accredited. The series is an excellent opportunity for members of the business community in Bristol, as well as our own students, alumni and staff to hear directly from inspirational figures in industry with a wealth of strategic experience and leadership skills at the highest level.”

Find podcasts, video interviews, photos galleries and media coverage from past Bristol Distinguished Address Series events. Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #BristolLectures

To register for the first address please click here.

*For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a member of the events team at the end of the event.

Bristol Business School shortlisted for Times Higher ‘Business School of the Year’ award

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The Bristol Business School has been shortlisted for ‘Business School of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education awards.

This is the 2nd year in a row the Business School has been shortlisted for the prestigious award.

The shortlisted submission was build around impactful research, engagement with business and innovation in entrepreneurship.

The submission showcases the success of two students from the Team Entrepreneurship programme who secured national awards: Jamie Rawsthorne, named IoD Student Director of the Year and Oliver Haddon, TARGETjobs Future Leader in Business Undergraduate of the Year, as well as highlighting the opening of the purpose built £55 million building. Reflecting the strong links to industry and the growing reputation of the business school as a hub for knowledge exchange, last year saw the milestone 100th speaker in the Bristol Distinguished Address Series.

The Business School is not alone in receiving recognition for a success over the last year, the Centre for Fine Print Research has also made the shortlist for Most Innovative Contribution to Business within the University Collaboration Category for their Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Burleigh Pottery.

Thanks to AHRC-funded research, the Centre for Fine Print Research was able to use innovative digital technologies to rescue the traditional engraving techniques which are used to create Burleighware’s distinctive designs. These techniques, developed in the late 18th century, have been vanishing and Burleigh is the only company in the world to keep them alive.

Vice-Chancellor Steve West, said, “I’m sure the whole University community will join me in wishing the best of luck to everyone involved in both submissions. We’re extremely proud of the successes made by the Bristol Business School in the first year in their new building, and delighted that our links with industry and the opportunities they open for students are being recognised by the shortlisting of the Burleigh project.”

The winners will be announced on Thursday 29 November at a gala event at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Introducing the Trailblazer programme: Free CPD for Bristol Business School alumni

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Bristol Business School are offering our alumni a pioneering and exclusive complimentary professional development programme, relevant across disciplines, regardless of when you graduated.

Launching in September 2018, our Trailblazer Programme will blend face-to-face sessions with webinars and social events. You will be motivated to maximise personal impact, boost effectiveness and develop leadership skills.

Facilitated by experienced academics, seasoned practitioners, and inspirational speakers, this programme echoes the mantra of learning by doing what is integral to our Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School.

Who is it for?

Offered exclusively to UWE Bristol alumni on a complimentary basis, this is a chance to continue the learning that you began when you were a student. The programme enables you to take advantage of your lifelong connection to our expertise and community.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this programme, however places will be offered exclusively to UWE Bristol alumni from our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Content

The programme incorporates four face-to-face sessions alongside online learning through webinars and two social events per a cohort.

Session 1 – Leading Self for Personal Effectiveness: Learn how to adapt your behaviour and actions when dealing with different individuals, tasks and situations. Acquire the skills to deliver exceptional performance, authentically.

Session 2 – Leading Others for Impact: Practical tips on creating high performing teams focusing on; healthy team dynamics, influencing and communicating.

Session 3 – Coaching and Mentoring: Transform your personal management style in this practical session by developing your coaching and mentoring skills to enhance performance and encourage self-exploration.

Session 4 – Design Thinking: Experience the creative process of finding new and transformative solutions to problems whilst also generating innovative ideas and opportunities.

Webinars: Webinar topics will be decided at the start of the programme to ensure these are relevant to the current business environment.They will be available live or pre-recorded.

Graduation: Graduation event for the year’s cohorts.

Professional accreditation

We are seeking to get this programme approved by the CPD Certification Service, meaning you will receive a certificate to demonstrate your CPD hours through completion of this programme*.

The growing network of participants will benefit from lasting relationships with likeminded professionals.

*subject to approval being granted.

Places for the course are limited to 40 participants per cohort. For more information and to apply for your free place, please see here.

 

Future Impact Webinar Series: Social Media and Body Image: Finding the positives

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The Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) in conjunction with Bristol Business School is proud to launch our Future Impact Webinar Series. This webinar series will feature exciting new developments in technology, science and management practice and highlight their impact on the future of business and society. Thought provoking yet practical, you will develop a better appreciation of what these advances will mean for you, your business and community.

Our inaugural webinar, presented by Dr. Noordin Shehabuddeen, with panellists from the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) will focus on social media and body image. The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is the world’s largest research group focusing on the role of appearance and body image in people’s lives. Dr. Amy Slater, Deputy Dicrector, CAR and Professor Diana Harcourt, Director, CAR will share their expertise, cutting edge research and knowledge.

Register here.  

Synopsis:

Social media has become an integral part of life for most young people, with over 90% using at least one social networking site, and almost half spending over 2 hours per day on social media (Tsitsika et al., 2014). Despite having many potential benefits, research has identified that greater social media use is associated with poorer body image, which is concerning given body dissatisfaction is linked to a wide range of negative psychological and health outcomes. This webinar will focus on what we know so far about the role of social media and body image, with a particular focus on looking for the potential positive role that social media could play in how we think about ourselves and our appearance.

Dr Amy Slater

Amy Slater is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England.  Her research interests lie in the area of body image, specifically body image in adolescents and children.  Her research has a particular focus on the role of social media and social networking services in the body image and wellbeing of young people.  Amy completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University in South Australia, and in addition to her research, is also experienced with working with children and adolescents in community and hospital settings.

Professor Diana Harcourt

Diana Harcourt is Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE, Bristol, the world’s largest group of psychologists researching issues around body image and appearance.  Her research interests focus on the psychosocial aspects of altered or unusual appearance, particularly those associated with cancer or burn injuries.  She completed her PhD at UWE, Bristol, exploring women’s experiences of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Her work includes developing and evaluating interventions to support people who are negatively affected by visible difference and those facing decisions about treatment that will alter their appearance

Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen

Noordin is Director of UWE’s Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) and Associate Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His remit is to lead a range of ambitious programmes aimed at further strengthening UWE’s role as a provider of cutting edge business-relevant education and solutions, and as a thought and practice leader in innovation. He was Director of Business Engagement as well as Director of Business Incubator at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, and prior to that, Director of the University of Liverpool’s Innovation Academy. He was also a Visiting Professor with the Government of Malaysia.

Noordin has presented numerous global webinars as a keynote speaker, and over 25 K people have taken his MOOC on innovation.  He is the author of a practitioner handbook ‘Innovation in real life: a hands-on guide to genuine innovation’. He is Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

 

Tenth Developing Leadership Capacity Conference (DLCC)

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In mid July, the Bristol Business School hosted the tenth Developing Leadership Capacity Conference (DLCC). The two day conference was attended by around 70 participants who all came to present ideas and share knowledge.

The DLCC was originally developed with the aim of having a combination of those interested in researching the area of leadership learning and development and those interested in new ideas for practice. This year the conference had a healthy mix of both.

Keynotes were given by Professor Carole Elliot (Roehampton University) on Women’s Leadership Development, Dr Kevin Flinn (Hertfordshire University) presenting on a complexity approach to leadership learning and Professor Paul Hibbert (St Andrews University) who presented on an aesthetic approach to understanding leadership experiences.

Alongside the keynotes, delegates could attend streamed sessions across the categories of case studies, theory and workshops.

This year the conference was particularly interested in innovative and creative approaches to learning and developing leadership. There was stimulating conversation across all the streamed session over the two days around this theme.

The 70 plus delegates came from as far afield as Canada, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

The keynotes are pictured below with the conference hosts and founders Dr Doris Schedlitzki and Dr Gareth Edwards and the Director of the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre, Professor Richard Bolden.

IoD relocates regional headquarters to UWE Bristol

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The South West Institute of Directors is relocating its regional headquarters to the Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in a move that further cements the partnership between the two organisations.

The office in the Business School will also act as a second hub for members. Members already have access to the facilities at Engine Shed, near Temple Meads.

The organisations already partner on a number of key initiatives including student membership, the Team Entrepreneurship degree programme and the Bristol Distinguished Address Series of which the IoD was a founding member.

Nick Sturge, South West regional director, said: “Encouraging the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs has always been one of the IoD’s priorities so it seems entirely appropriate that we should be regionally headquartered at UWE Bristol which has such an established reputation for business and enterprise studies.

“Having a physical presence in the Business and Law faculty will enable us to be even more actively involved in supporting existing and new initiatives, such as the Team Entrepreneurship degree and some of the activities at Launch Space, which provides enterprise support for graduate businesses.”

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, said: “As the largest University in the South West, UWE Bristol is a key driver for productivity and economic growth. It is our responsibility to develop graduates’ skills and experiences to ensure that they can make a meaningful contribution to the world of work and their community. Consistent and practical interactions with business and industry help facilitate a successful transition into the workplace. Our relationship with the IoD is one facet of this and our students have benefited enormously from initiatives such as the student membership programme. I am delighted we are now under the same roof.”

South Glos Expo at the Bristol Business School

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On Wednesday 6th June, the Bristol Business School hosted the South Glos Expo. The Expo saw businesses from across the South Glos region exhibit at Business School.

As well as the exhibition, there were workshops throughout the day for visitors. Workshops included an introduction to Digital Advertising and Know your Business Data delivered by Google Garage. Business West delivered workshops on the GDPR Journey and Access to Finance.

Simon Camper Photography

Networking group We Mean Biz hosted a dedicated networking lunch for guests, giving attendees the chance to further their connections within the South Glos region.

The keynote of the day was given by Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards who shared his experiences with guests.

Simon Camper Photography

For more information on the South Glos Expo please see here.

The Duke of York opens Bristol Business School

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The University of the West of England’s flagship £55 million business building has been officially opened by The Duke of York.

His Royal Highness received a guided tour of facilities at Bristol Business School, located at the University’s Frenchay campus, before unveiling a commemorative plaque marking the formal opening.

Offering a new approach to business and law education to benefit students and businesses in the region, the building opened to students and staff in 2017 and represents the biggest capital investment of UWE Bristol’s 2020 building programme. Features include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a business advice clinic, an incubator for Team Entrepreneurship students, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, and an external business engagement hub.

On his tour of the business school, The Duke met students and staff from the Business Advice Clinic, where undergraduates work with mentors from industry to offer pro bono support to small enterprises, and the Team Entrepreneurship Hub, the home of a degree course dedicated to giving students the practical experience to launch and run their own ventures. His Royal Highness was also shown the school’s Bloomberg Trading Room and a Technology Enhanced Active Learning space during the visit.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said: “We were proud to show The Duke that not only is Bristol Business School a striking modern building with state-of-the-art facilities but what goes on inside is equally impressive.

“Students are using the hugely expanded provision of technology enhanced active learning for greater co-creation and student-led problem solving, while a growing number of businesses are being welcomed through the doors to collaborate with staff and our ever more entrepreneurial students.

“It is this abundance of strong relationships with industry that sets UWE Bristol’s approach to business apart, with close collaboration ensuring the skills our graduates leave with are always relevant to employers’ rapidly evolving needs.”

Addressing guests at the opening, His Royal Highness said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to open and celebrate a building such as this. A building lives because of what goes on inside it and judging from what I’ve seen on my tour, the vibrancy of the staff and students working here is making this building sing to a very wonderful note.

“I wish Bristol Business School, and the whole university, every good fortune in creating the sorts of young people we are going to need in the new environment we’ll find ourselves in during the next two to five years. These are going to be very challenging times but we need to create a breed of young people who are enterprising, entrepreneurial and ambitious. If we can do that we can, and will, succeed. So good luck, I wish you every success.”

Bristol Business School at the Personal Finance Society Festival of Finance

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In early November, as part of the developing relationship between the Bristol Business School and the Chartered Institute of Insurers, eight students from Accounting Economics and Finance UG and PG programmes accompanied Debbie Sturge, Departmental Academic Director Accounting, Economics and Finance, to the  Personal Finance Society Festival of Finance at the NEC.

The Bristol Business School stand, which was supported by the students, was in the Future Generations area of the Festival. Our students spoke to other delegates and secondary school students to promote the degree programs in the Bristol Business School, as well as networking with financial service firms.

In addition to manning the stand, the students also got the opportunity to attend a variety of talks on subjects as diverse as inheritance tax, demographics and the digital revolution, including the intriguingly titled ‘Sex , chocolate and bucket list planning’.

Speakers included ex pensions minsters Ros Altmann and Steve Webb,  Sir Clive Woodward on ‘Data and  the power of knowledge’ and Sir Vince Cable on ‘The EU, Finance and the City’ .

The event proved beneficial for the students as they managed to find guest speakers for the Accounting Society, explore placement and employment opportunities and investigate new career path options in finance and financial services.