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Women researchers and the UK Parliament

On 9th October 2019, UK Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Unit (KEU) held an event bringing together women researchers with MPs, Peers and staff from across UK Parliament.  Attendees at the event, which was open to all from the research community, celebrated women researchers' impact on the UK Parliament, learnt more about how to engage with Parliament as a researcher, and contributed ideas to strengthen Parliament's work with women researchers.

People working around a large table

What did we learn?

Throughout this event, speakers and attendees contributed their ideas on how UK Parliament can strengthen its work to support women researchers.

Women researchers would like to see:

  • Fellowships and opportunities at Parliament for women academics (beyond PhD level).
  • More information about ways and opportunities to work with Parliament, in one place.
  • Mentoring for women researchers to support each other to engage with Parliament.
  • More alternatives available for "attending" in order to contribute to Parliament and participate in events and training.
  • Events and opportunities within work hours to ensure those with caring responsibilities are able to attend.
  • UK Parliament connecting with women's academic leadership groups and representative groups within HEIs and research organisations.
  • UK Parliament reaching out to existing womens' researchers networks.

We can't take forward every suggestion we received, but here is more information and examples on how we're responding to the suggestions we heard.

Why did we hold this event?

We know that fewer female researchers engage with the UK Parliament than male researchers, based on both statistical and anecdotal evidence, and we want that to change. 

This event is part of ongoing activity from Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Unit to listen to a range of communities from the research sector about barriers they face in engaging with Parliament and their ideas for how Parlimaent can strengthen its work to support them.  

If you would like to know more about this work, please contact Naomi Saint, Knowledge Exchange Manager, on saintn@parliament.uk

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Contact the Knowledge Exchange unit: Sarah Foxen, Naomi Saint and Laura Webb. Email: keu@parliament.uk Follow us on Twitter: @UKParl_Research

Find out more

Researchers' stories

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Find out first-hand what it's like to engage with Parliament from academics who have done so.

Researchers' stories