Gender Equality College Coffee Topics


Coffee Topics are a monthly get together by zoom to share a discussion about a gender topic of interest. Each Topic will be led by a College Member with a short overview of the key points followed by a chat over coffee (or beverage of choice). Thirty minutes, a chance to talk over an interesting topic and meet fellow College members.

All Coffee Topics start at 11:00 hrs, and run for between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Coffee Topics are open to members of the Gender Equality College. If you would like to join, please contact Mel Knight


February 2024

Full Title: White Rose Gender Equality College Sustainability Review

When: Wednesday 14 February 11:00 – 11:30

Speaker: Dr Paula Burkinshaw, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Leeds University Business School and White Rose Gender Equality College Member.


Dr Burkinshaw will be sharing an Executive Briefing and Recommendations from her report “White Rose Gender Equality College Sustainability Review”.  The review builds and expands upon our 2022 project “Building understanding of gender equality challenges within research. 

We would be delighted to receive College Members’ input at this coffee topic discussion to help us shape our future and sustain our work on gender equality research and culture. 

October 2023

Full Title: Introducing the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Caucus

When: Tuesday 10 October 11:00 – 11:30

Speaker: Prof Kate Sang, Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh Campus)

Details: Professor Kate Sang and Research Associate Chiara Cocco will outline the team’s plan for the EDI Caucus, our ethos and the opportunities to get involved. The EDI Caucus (or EDICa) is funded by UKRI with support from the British Academy and aims to accelerate equity across the research and innovation ecosystem through the development of evidence bases, piloting of interventions and increasing the diversity literacy of decision makers across research and innovation.

Previous coffee topics


May 2023

May’s coffee topic was presented by Prof Doreen Kainyu Kaura, Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.  “Listening to the women” enables women centred care that considers the perspectives and experiences of women in various aspects of life, including social, political, and economic issues. It recognizes the need to address gender inequalities and ensure that women’s voices are heard and valued in decision-making processes. By listening to women, we can gain a better understanding of their needs, concerns, and aspirations, and work towards creating more equitable and inclusive societies. This concept is particularly relevant in the context of women’s rights movements and efforts to promote gender equality and empowerment, as well as in the development of policies and programs that affect women’s lives. 

April 2023

April’s coffee topic was presented by Edgar Barajas Ledesma who led a discussion on EDI and the benefits of university-industry collaboration. Edgar joined the Gender Equality College with the main purpose of sharing experiences from different sociocultural environments and learning from each other.



May’s coffee topic was presented by Dr Alice Nah from the University of York, and discussed Gender, Risk and Activism.  The session explored the ways in which gender shapes the risks that women and gender diverse persons face as they engage in activism. Drawing on her research with women human rights defenders, Dr Alice Nah facilitated a conversation about how women navigate risk as they advocate for social change.

April’s coffee topic was around Putting Black Women’s Health on the Agenda.
Dr Stephanie Ejegi-Memeh from the University of Sheffield led a discussion on the growing focus on the health experiences of those from an ethnic minority background.

March’s coffee topic took place on International Women’s Day and members enjoyed an informal discussion on this year’s theme –  #BreaktheBias, or imagining a gender equal world.


November’s coffee topic discussed navigating gender diversity between cultures and platforms and was delivered by Dr Łukasz Szulc Lecturer in Digital Media and Society, University of Sheffield.

Drawing on six in-depth interviews with gender-diverse Poles in the UK, Dr Łukasz Szulc demonstrated a wide spectrum of practices of gender diversity and stressed the importance of cultural and media contexts for understanding how gender diversity is being practiced in everyday life.

October’s coffee topic discussed unstereotyping marketing to advance multicultural inclusion: why does it matter and what are the obstacles? Dr Eva KipnisSenior Lecturer in International Marketing, University of Sheffield talked about findings of a recent study that identifies lack of knowledge integration and access to diversity and inclusion knowledge for SMEs as some of the obstacles contributing to these trends.

September’s coffee topic was an exploration of young people’s understanding of ‘gender’ diversity in the UK. Prof Sally Hines Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield covered some of the initial findings from her project, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Leeds.

July’s coffee topic discussed why the time is right to support and promote the sexual rights of older adults.  Dr Sharron Hinchcliff, Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (Health Sciences School, Sheffield) was the speaker at this coffee topic.

May’s coffee topic: was led by Dr Paula Burkinshaw, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Leeds University Business School.  Despite the attention during the past decade given to encouraging gender equality at the top of universities, qualitative research suggests many women still struggle to progress to senior roles. This coffee topic talk interrogates higher education cultures to find out why and reviews interventions aimed at addressing the problems. 

April’s coffee topic gave a summary of the approach and tools utilised by Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS), a coalition of organisations promoting the benefits of ED&I within research. Prof Patricia Cowell led the discussion on existing barriers to empowering gender within research and securing genuine engagement.

February’s coffee topic was a a review of the College which considered the following areas: our existing Aims – are they still appropriate?; our remit – to focus or expand; our activities – what would be of most interest; a proposal for a White Rose Gender Equality Symposium.

January’s coffee topic considered the impact of COVID-19 on older women. Dr Lorna Warren was a member of the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance expert group on older women which, in early summer and convened by Elizabeth Sclater, put together a briefing note on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older women. The purpose of the briefing was to lobby the Government Equalities Office on issues currently affecting older women’s lives. Lorna gave an overview of the key points raised in the briefing and pointed to their implications at a more global level.


November’s coffee topic considered some of the insights gained from focusing on men alongside women when conducting gender research. It highlighted work in South Africa and India on gendered experiences of changes to housing, and also on current work in Ethiopia and South Africa on unemployment and housing challenges for male and female youth. The speaker was Dr Paula Meth, Urban Studies, University of Sheffield.

October’s coffee topic discussed Gender in community research co-production: women, wellbeing and community identity in rural South Africa. Covering the role that gender has played in a series of GCRF funded projects in rural South Africa. Gender as both a focal point of research and as a driver of community-based co-production was discussed. The project website showcases projects and partners. The speakers were Dr Seth Mehl & Prof Susan Fitzmaurice, English, University of Sheffield with Prof Patricia Cowell, Health Sciences, University of Sheffield.

September’s coffee topic discussed the issues of femicide and its impact on children. You may find this report useful (p36), the speaker was Dr Parveen Ali, Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield.