Gender Bias at Work Talk

Interland’s Gender and Leadership research group is hosting a talk by Professor Binna Kandola and Jo Kandola on their book, The Invention of Difference: Gender Bias at Work, to be held on Friday 20th March at 11am. All are welcome!

Please do contact Professor Judith Baxter if you are interested in attending this talk.

Friday 20 March – Interland Gender and Leadership Research Group talk

MB549, 11am 12 noon

Women in Business Conference 16th March

Professor Judith Baxter will be speaking about the effective use of language in business at the Women in Business Conference 16th March 2015. Professor Baxter’s research focuses on the relationship between language, gender and leadership in educational, business and professional contexts.

Professor Baxter’s research regularly features in the media including the BBC2 series, Women at the Top and BBC Radio programmes such as Woman’s Hour and Business Daily.

The conference follows the success of the 2014 ‘Women in Business’ conference. With the proportion of women in UK senior management roles at just 20%* and the number of women entering certain industries remaining low, it is recognised that more needs to be done by employers to change their cultural behaviour and invest in the leadership development of its talented women.

Date & Time: 16/03/2015 09:30 – 15:00
Location: De Vere Venues Colmore Gate, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2QD

To register please follow the link below:

Development and other dirty words: The story of organisation development in Africa

Sarah Owusu and Judith Okonkwo, Practitioner Consultants in Africa 
As African Organisation Development (OD) practitioners we wish to share our story with you, and allow you to build on it in a way that helps us all explore the clear opportunity that Africa presents for OD – both in practice and learning – and to overcome some of the hurdles that we inevitably face. We will provide a space to question the relevance of OD and to define our roles.
By looking at OD in Africa we will:
•Spend time recognising what is happening in the OD field elsewhere in the world, and exploring our awareness of it.
•Expand, transform and elevate our mindsets by engaging explicitly with the purpose of OD in different cultures.
We hope to explore OD as something universally applicable and globally interconnected. As Ubuntu philosophy would say: I am because we are.
Come join us Wednesday 4 March at 4.30 in room MB257 at Aston University.

Feminismos, gynocine y el cine español

Come join us Wed 11th March @ 5:30pm for a talk given by Prof. Barbara Zecchi.

Prof. Barbara Zecchi´s (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) research focuses on Gender Studies, Film adaptations, Digital Humanities and Spanish Cinema. She has authored, edited or coedited several books, such as La pantalla sexuada (Cátedra, 2014), Desenfocadas: Cineastas españolas y discursos de género (Icaria, 2014), Gynocine (Univ. Zaragoza, 2013),Teoría y práctica de la adaptación fílmica (ed. Complutense, 2011), La mujer en la España actual, ¿evolución o involución? (with Jacqueline Cruz, Icaria, 2004),  Sexualidad y escritura (1850-2000) (with Raquel Medina, Anthropos, 2002). She is currently coordinating the Digital Humanities Project «Gynocine: A History of Women’s Cinema».

Prof. Zecchi comes to Aston as Distinguished visitor from 9 March to 12 March 2015.  In addition to her public talk on `Feminismos, gynocine y cine español´, she will contribute to the teaching of LS3006 Hispanic Film and LU2001 Migrant and Transnational Cinema, and will hold meetings with students working on their Hispanic Film essays.  Dr Medina and Prof. Zecchi are currently working together on a research project on gender and ageing in Spanish cinema.

For further information, please contact Dr Raquel Medina:

Join the Debate: Who are schools for? How should they serve the community?

The Aston Debates 2015

Aston Debates 2015

A series of five high-profile public meetings with a built-in question time, organised during the run-up to the 2015 General Election campaign. The Aston Debates will feature high-profile guest speakers, drawn from politics, business, academia and civil society, addressing issues likely to feature prominently during the campaign. The aim? To be informative, provocative and to ‘cut through the spin’.

The Aston Debates will be held at Aston University in the heart of Birmingham, from 6.00-8.00 p.m. and will be facilitated by community activist and political radio presenter Charmaine Burton, a former Aston University student. Each event will be preceded by light refreshments (available from 5.30).

The first debate – 25th February – EducationWho are schools for? How should they serve the community?

The ‘Trojan Horse’ affair has prompted important debates around the local management of schools, so-called ‘British values’ , religious education and how schools can best serve diverse communities. This is one of a series of high profile public meetings with a built-in question time, organised during the 2015 General Election campaign. The Aston Debates will feature high-profile guest speakers, drawn from politics, business, academia and civil society, addressing issues likely to feature prominently during the campaign. The aim? To be informative, provocative and to ‘cut through the spin’

Guest Speakers:

Professor Stephen Gorard – Professor of Education and Public Policy, Durham University

Chris Keates – General Secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

Richy Thompson – Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education), British Humanist Association

25 February, Sumpner Lecture Theatre, Aston University 6.00 – 8.00pm

Book your place:

‘Borders and Boundaries’

Demelza and Katy welcome everyone to the next Sociology and Policy Research Workshop which explores the theme of ‘Borders and Boundaries’. 

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 25th February, 1-3pm in NX02, Aston University.

It will consist of three papers from Katy Pilcher, Katie Tonkiss and Flor Gonzalez-Correa (details below) relating in different ways to the workshop theme of ‘Borders and Boundaries’, with time for discussion.

Demelza and Katy welcome all and hope to see you there.

For further details, please contact Demelza (
Details of the papers:

‘Bending’ Gender and Sexual Boundaries? Erotic Performance and Spectatorship in Non-Conventional Erotic Dance Venues.

Dr Katy Pilcher

This paper seeks to highlight the potential ways in which the performance and spectatorship of erotic dance in non-conventional leisure venues within the UK, can potentially ‘bend’, twist or trouble heteronormative gender and sexual boundaries. Drawing upon comparative ethnographic research in two erotic dance venues in the UK, in which women dance for women customers in a lesbian leisure venue, and men dance for women customers in a heterosexual nightclub, this paper fuses feminist and queer theorising as a means for understanding the complex, and contested, meanings and experiences of participants within these intimate spaces. In doing so, I take three issues for closer analysis. Firstly, I question the ‘normativity’ of gendered embodied performances within the venues; secondly, I critically interrogate customers’ conceptions of these strip shows as ‘women’s spaces’, and consider which/whose bodies are seen as ‘out of place’ within this notion; and, lastly, I analyse the potential for both women customers and erotic dancers to exercise a sexualised ‘gaze’ within these venues. These three issues all provide scope for thinking through how boundaries around heteronormativity are negotiated and potentially challenged in certain erotic dance moments and interactions. Overall, I argue that erotic dance performed in non-conventional contexts does not necessarily subvert or ‘bend’ heteronormative power relations as a matter of course. Dancers’ and customers’ engagement with erotic dance is complex, and this paper highlights the tensions around subverting and negotiating heteronormativity, at the same time as indicating the potential ways in which we can read ‘queer moments’ of rupture within erotic dance encounters.

Experiencing Transnationalism at Home: Open Borders and the Everyday Narratives of Non-Migrants.

Dr Katherine Tonkiss

The migration rights literature has engaged with the situated experience of migration to a very limited extent, with particularly little attention paid to non-migrants living in receiving localities where experiences are relatively fixed compared with the fluidity typically associated with transnationalism. This paper challenges disciplinary orthodoxies to argue in favour of the incorporation of non-migrant narrative research into the process of theorising migration rights. The discussion is illustrated with a description of research undertaken within rural migration-receiving communities in England, where non-migrants were found to reproduce meta-narratives of transnational capitalism alongside national belonging in everyday life, with significant consequences for the full realisation of migration rights.
Drawing the Boundaries between “Corporate Social Responsibility” and “Business and Human Rights”

Dr Flor Gonzalez-Correa

The study of the responsibilities of corporations to society has been conducted under two main discourses: corporate social responsibility (CSR) and business and human rights (BHRs). The understanding of CSR has evolved in the last 65 years from a matter of discretional philanthropy to a mainstream business practice closely linked to the companies’ image and reputation. However, it proved to be insufficient to effectively address and prevent some of the impacts of corporate activity on human rights. Partly, as a response to this failure, in 2003, the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights adopted the Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, which gave origin to the business and human rights issue. A bulk of literature on corporate responsibility has tended to meld both CSR and BHRs discourses. However, this paper intends to draw a boundary between both discourses and explains that in spite of the ostensible convergences, CSR and BHRs have, in fact, critical differences as the former puts the company’s interest at the centre, while the latter is constructed around the moral force of human rights.

Second ESRC seminar series on ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace’

Wednesday, 11 March 2015
09:00 – 14:00
The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street. London SW1H 0AD


Keynote speakers
Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna, Professor of Management and Organizational Behaviour – Cardiff Business School

Prof. Michael West, Professor of Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University and Senior Fellow of The King’s Fund

Dr Olga Epitropaki, Senior Lecturer, Work & Organisational Psychology Group – Aston University
Dr Florian Kunze, Professor and Holder of the Chair for Organisational Studies – University of Konstanz (Germany)
Dr Lilian Otaye, Research Associate – Centre for Performance-led HR, Lancaster University Management School

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace are known to increase organisational effectiveness, innovation and lead to greater employee wellbeing and satisfaction. But getting it to work remains a challenge for organizations, however, because there is still little consolidated knowledge about what works and what does not, and what can be done to put it into practice/ make it work. The aim of this seminar series is to engage academics, organisations, and the wider public to voice new ideas and spark social innovation to help organizations create inclusive environments where everyone, irrespective of their backgrounds can flourish and reach their full potential.

Funded by the ESRC, the event series is the result of a collaboration between Aston Business School ,Lancaster University , University of Sheffield and The Work Foundation.

This event, which is the second in the series, will:

•Investigate the role of organisational strategy, policies, climate, and culture in embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
If you are interested in attending this event please contact Rohini stating your name , job title/ position and organisation or place of study.

Early registration is therefore recommended to avoid disappointment.