Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our blog! This blog is intended as a starting point for conversations and big ideas and we are excited to have a place to share more in-depth information and where we can facilitate discussions between our Centre members. Please send any contributions to Gary Lindsay g.lindsay@mmu.ac.uk (although we cannot guarantee publication of everything we receive)

If you would like to write a guest blog please contact the Centre Heads Kate Cook k.cook@mmu.ac.uk or Julia Rouse j.rouse@mmu.ac.uk.


Feminist Reflections Event Feedback

Kelly Jones, Melanie Latham and Aysha Mazhar hosted a very successful “Feminist Reflections” event on 21st July, in the Business School.  The talks were described by participants as “challenging, interesting and thought-provoking” and a big vote of thanks goes to the organising team (plus their student helpers) and to all the speakers and chairs.

The first seminars and meetings for the autumn term of 2017 will be announced shortly and we are in the process of pulling together a programme of events for the centenary of votes for women.  The bill which allowed women over 30 the right to vote for the first time received royal assent on the 7th February 1918.  If anyone has ideas to offer about how we can celebrate this centenary then please email Kate k.cook@mmu.ac.uk

Dr Kate Cook,

Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre

Another Gender and Enterprise Network Confreat Success!

GEN confreat 1

Prof  Julia Rouse presenting to the Confreat delegates

The second GEN ‘Confreat’ (conference/retreat) was held on the 17th, 18th and 19th of July 2017 at  Manchester Metropolitan University,  coordinated by Sally Jones (Manchester Met) and Maria Villares-Varela (University of Southampton). The GEN (Gender and Enterprise Network) is a special interest group of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), which aims to develop gender and entrepreneurship scholars nationally and internationally. Professor Julia Rouse, Head of Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre and Sally Jones, a Reader –  also based in the Sylvia –  are both co-founders of GEN, which was set up in 2012 and has a vibrant and active membership and events programme.

The idea for the confreat emerged from a desire expressed by our members for a unique space, where the rigour of an academic conference was combined with the supportive and encouraging aspects of a retreat environment. This experience is designed to sharpen delegate’s paper-writing skills and to develop them both academically and professionally. Our first confreat in 2015 received an overwhelmingly positive response from attendees who found it “energising”, “inspirational”, “motivating” and “essential”.

The 2017 event was sponsored by MMU’s Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre, and was supported by a grant from the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS). The intimate event attracted 25 doctoral, early career and more established scholars interested in developing their gender and entrepreneurship papers for a conference or journal. Participants came from a total of twenty-one institutions mainly based in the UK, with contributions also from Ireland and France.

Each delegate worked in small groups with an expert reviewer, receiving individual and exhaustive feedback from more experienced scholars and peer feedback from their fellow group members.  Expert reviewers facilitated the formation of peer-mentoring groups to track and give feedback on the papers as they progress to publication/presentation in the coming year.

This year we were pleased to welcome the following eminent gender and entrepreneurship scholars as reviewers: Dr Haya Al-Dajani (University of Plymouth), Professor John Kitching (Kingston University), Dr Kate Lewis (MMU), Dr Patricia Lewis (University of Kent), and Professor Susan Marlow (University of Nottingham). We are very grateful for their time and for the support they offered both before and during the event.

In addition to working on paper development, the event included guest presentations on various aspects of academic publishing and career progression. On day one Professor Julia Rouse presented on approaches to writing, while Dr Kate Lewis’ presentation “Successfully Publishing Gender and Entrepreneurship Research”, drew on her experiences as an editor of the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship as well as her personal experience of publishing in this field.

On day two presentations turned to a broader focus on research and research funding, with Professor Julia Rouse introducing “Engaged and Activist Scholarship” and potential funding sources for gender and entrepreneurship research; and Dr Haya Al-Dajani sharing her experience of successfully applying for a large ESRC grant.

We were really pleased to be able to develop, not only the attendees’ papers but also their networks and collaborative opportunities.  Delegates found it useful and inspiring, saying: “being with my peers was by far the most valuable part of the event for me, and re-familiarising myself with current research in the GEN area was absolutely fantastic!”, and “it was really useful to get independent views on the work and on my approach.” Another delegate commented, “ I have come home re-energised!”

We look forward to following up on the progress of their papers over the coming months.

For more information about GEN and to join our online community please visit:

https://isbegen.wordpress.com and/or https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3530090

Gen confreat 3

Gen Confreat networking dinner

Gen confreat 1






Looking for participants – both social workers and mothers: Do current approaches to mothers within child protection social work, re-victimise women with violent partners?

My name is Stacey and I am trained as a social worker – I’ve worked in both Child Protection and Children In Care social work before returning to Nottingham Trent University to undertake a PhD that looks at mothers experiences of domestic abuse and social work.

Criteria for Mothers: Anyone who has been in, or is in an abusive relationship AND who has, or has had involvement with children’s services.

Criteria for Social Workers: Anyone who has worked in Child Protection.

I would like participants to be involved in different parts of the research, and so you have a choice of how you can be involved.

There are focus groups which review research tools, activities/interviews, and help disseminate the findings – this is a method known as participatory action research. My approach seeks to ensure that the stories of participants are told accurately – from their point of view. You wouldn’t be expected to take part in all of these roles, so if any of them sound interesting to you, we can discuss this and find what suits you the best.

I have chosen this method because I want to understand if the current approaches to Mothers within child protection social work, re-victimise them with their violent partners. This interests me because during my time in social work I was made very uncomfortable by the way that social workers work with women who had experienced domestic abuse.

Social workers have to decide whether domestic abuse is having a damaging impact on the child; and if it is, they must decide how to manage the risk and ensure that the child is protected. In this situation, they often focus their attention on the main care-giver, who is often the Mum; and this can lead to decisions being made by a social worker – which takes away the Mothers ability to make decisions, and often leaves her feeling powerless.

Such decisions may assume that the Mum has enough support and money to leave the relationship safely, and that the Mum hasn’t been protective of her children; and it does not place responsibility for the abusive behaviour on the right person. It can also ignore the statistics about the risks to Mothers leaving abusive relationships. I know that this chain of events can happen, and I want to investigate it with Mothers and social workers.

I would like to hear if you have experienced behaviour like this; and hear about experiences that were positive and different from this. Most of all, I would like to hear from you about what YOU experienced in the situation.

If you are interested in my project and would like to have a chat, make a comment, or even become involved, please don’t hesitate to text, call or email me on 07565 472560/  stacey.stewart2016@my.ntu.ac.uk.

With very best wishes and thanks in advance,


MPA Big Debate 2: ‘Diversity matters’ 20th July 5pm at Neo, Manchester (last few places!)

John Walding, Marketing, Communications and Campaigns Manager of Manchester’s LGBT Foundation completes the panel for tomorrow’s MPA Big Debate.

Joining him are panellists:

Nihal Arthanayake – Broadcaster
Kate Vokes, Director of Culture, Bruntwood
Vic Elizabeth Turnbull, Marketing & Fundraising Manager, UpRising and Director, SilentRadio.co.uk
Ewan Douglas, Agency Principal – Nations & Regions, Channel 4
Erica Ingham, CFO, MediaCom North

For further information please follow this link:


Feminist Reflections: Law, Society & Care. 21 July – final week for bookings

Feminist event wordle

You are warmly invited to a collection of talks and symposium papers for individuals working within Feminist Frameworks and methodologies.

Sponsored by the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre

DATE: 21 July 2017 9.30am-6.00pm

VENUE & DATE:  Room 2.10 Sandra Burslem Building, Manchester Met

Donna Dickenson, Property in the Body: Feminist Perspectives

Alison Jaggar, Gendered Perspectives on Global Justice

Helen Pankhurst, Words not Deeds

Register here:


Melanie Latham, Kelly Dannielle & Aysha Mazh