Category / Women’s Academic Network

New BU midwifery paper published this week

Congratulations to Prof. Vanora Hundley in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal &Perinatal Health (CMMPH) who published the paper ‘Effective communication: core to promoting respectful maternity care for disabled women’ in the international journal Midwifery. This paper is co-authored with BU Visiting Faculty Jillian Ireland who is Professional Midwifery Advocate at Poole Maternity Hospital, University Hospital Dorset (UHD), and two former BU staff members: Dr. Bethan Collins & Dr. Jenny Hall.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen


Collins, C., Hall, J., Hundley, V., Ireland, J. (2022) Effective communication: core to promoting respectful maternity care for disabled women’, Midwifery.



Raising Awareness: Menopause & the Workplace Research Findings

As the current UCU Equality Officer, I’d like to share some recent research (2022) on menopause and the workplace, which is presented by the Fawcett Society*. The research (see: follows on from the C4 documentary ‘Davina McCall: Sex, Mind and the Menopause’ commissioned by Finestripe Productions.

This televised popular cultural representation raised awareness of the menopause. Additionally, Finestripe commissioned Savanta ComRes to conduct a  survey of 4,014 UK women aged 45-55 who are currently or have previously experienced the perimenopause or the menopause. The Fawcett Society, who were involved in the research design, acknowledge their gratitude “to Channel 4 and to Finestripe for enabling us to use that data in this report. We are also grateful to The Wates Group (a construction company), without whose sponsorship this report could not have been produced.”

Key findings from the research are as follows:

  • 77% of women experience one or more symptoms they describe as ‘very difficult’. 69% say they experience difficulties with anxiety or depression due to menopause, 84% experience trouble sleeping and 73% experience brain fog.
  • More women described difficulty sleeping and brain fog as being ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ than hot flushes or night sweats (70%).
  • 44% of women said their ability to work had been affected, comprising 18% of women who said that their symptoms currently affected their ability to do their jobs, and 26% in the past. 61% said that they had lost motivation at work due to their symptoms, and 52% said they had lost confidence.
  • One in ten women who have been employed during the menopause have left work due to menopause symptoms. Mapped on to the UK population that would represent an estimated 333,000 women leaving their jobs due to the menopause. 14% of women had reduced their hours at work, 14% had gone part-time, and 8% had not applied for promotion.
  • Disabled women are affected more by menopause symptoms. 22% said they had left a job due to menopause symptoms, compared to 9% of non-disabled women.
  • Severe symptoms are worse for working class women. 44% of women described three or more symptoms as ‘very difficult’, and women in a household where the main earner works in semi-skilled or unskilled manual work were more likely than those where they work in managerial roles to have difficulty with physical and psychological symptoms.
  • The taboo around menopause extends to sick notes. 26% of women who have been employed during the menopause had taken time off work due to their symptoms, but just 30% of them gave menopause as the main reason on their sick note. Working class women were even less likely to cite the real reason.
  • Employers are not taking action to support most menopausal women. There is consistent evidence that a mix of appropriate interventions by employers can support women: culture change, training, advice on menopause, adapting absence policies, flexible work, and environmental changes.But for each of these, eight out of ten women in our survey said their employer had not put them in place. When they do, women say that they are helpful.
  • Women are not approaching their GP surgery about the menopause. Just 55% of women said they had talked to someone at their practice, while 45% said they had not. Even among women with five or more severe symptoms, 29% had not spoken to anyone at their GP practice about menopause.
  • Women overall said their GPs appeared knowledgeable about menopause. 67% of menopausal women who did speak to their GP agreed that their healthcare professionals seemed well informed about the menopause.

At the end of October 2021, the UK Government issued a Press Release (see: outlining action for a Menopause Taskforce to better support women experiencing the menopause. The Task force will be co-chaired by the Minister for Women’s Health and Carolyn Harris MP and aims to address the role of education, training and workplace policies. The Civil Service will be involved in developing workplace menopause policy to ensure women can continue to work to their full potential.

At BU, we have Menopause Guidelines (see: for members of staff and managers, which states that: “Research shows that the majority of women are unwilling to discuss menopause-related health problems with their line manager, nor ask for the support or adjustments that they may need”

One of the aims of the BU guidelines is to: “Foster an environment in which colleagues can openly and comfortably instigate conversations, or engage in discussions about menopause“.

Hopefully, existing menopause and workplace research findings, accompanied by policy reform, will impact change in the workplace and make menopause easier to talk about and support.

The TUC also have an informative and useful menopause toolkit:

*The Fawcett Society is a UK charity, established in 1866; campaigns for women’s rights

Action Heroines in the Twenty-First Century: Sisters in Arms Thursday 9th & Friday 10 June 2022

Keynote: Professor Yvonne Tasker, University of Leeds 

It is 30 years since Thelma and Louise hit our screens, grossing a cool $45mil at the US box-office and carving out a special place in movie history. A deliberately feminist project for screenwriter Callie Khouri, it was hailed and derided in more or less equal measure by critics for its portrayal of two ordinary Arkansas women turned gun-toting outlaws. The film busted the Hollywood myth that a female-led action movie could not be a critical and commercial success. It also broke the mould by presenting us with not one but two action heroines, this being perhaps the most revolutionary thing about it. As a result, many anticipated an upsurge in female action heroines, but this was not to be. The genre continued to be almost exclusively dominated by men, and where a female action hero did appear (Geena Davis being one significant action star, Angelina Jolie of course another), they were almost always positioned as a single woman surrounded by a cast of men, as though to reinforce their exceptionality and their distance from ordinary women and from socially acceptable constructions of femininity. In the new millennium, however, we have seen an increasing number of women star in and lead action films emanating from Hollywood and beyond. And perhaps more interestingly we have seen the emergence of films that feature more than one female action figure, effectively removing that stultifying burden of representation otherwise shouldered by the lone ‘woman’.

This symposium, hosted by Bournemouth University, has been convened by Christa van Raalte (BU – FMC) and Frances Pheasant-Kelly (Wolverhampton University). Paper will respond to a range of films and television series from Asian productions through to mainstream Hollywood and examine various aspects of the on-screen action heroine – and in particular what happens when she teams up with her peers. We plan to work on a co-edited collection with our collaborators thereafter.

For further details and to register, please visit:

What’s New at WAN?

We are enjoying a busy second semester at the Women’s Academic Network, now in its 9th year. Here we provide a brief snapshot of what’s been happening and what’s coming up.

Following our excellent Research Masterclass on Focus Group Discussions with Dr Emma Pitchforth, University of Exeter and Professor Edwin van Teijlingen of FSS in Semester 1, our second Research Methodology Masterclass workshop will be held on May 25. This time we will be covering Psychosocial Visual Methodologies, including learning about Social Dreaming techniques. Workshop facilitation will be offered by Dr Lita Crociani-Windland, University West of England. Lita is a British Psychoanalytic Council Scholar and Director of the UWE Centre for Social Dreaming and an expert is her field.  Register with WAN.

More Semester 2 events:

We have enjoyed two highly successful, open-to-all webinars recently.

On April 29, Pro-Chancellor Dr Sue Sutherland OBE introduced three eminent, media profiled, Independent Sage speakers, Professor Susan Michie, Professor Christina Pagel (UCL) and Dr Deepti Gurdasani (Queen Mary) for a powerful, punchy and candid discussion on the Online harassment and abuse of female scientists in the public sphere

On March 17 the BU Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, opened Women’s International Day at WAN with this year’s prestigious speaker, Jess Phillips, Labour Party MP for the constituency of Birmingham Yardley and Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding. This was a hugely powerful and entertaining recorded session with one of the UK’s most authentic, audacious, witty and eloquent politicians speaking on the topic of ‘Another Year of Violence Towards Women and Girls!’ 

 What else is going on?

The ever-popular WAN Writing Retreat is being held on July 11. Please register your interest.

WAN takes its responsibilities to support the career profiles of our women colleagues very seriously. Our annual Writing Retreat is a great opportunity to get down to some seriously inspired writing in a supported environment where your writing experience is facilitated by experienced and prolific women scholars.

Coming up: WAN speaker/panel series: ‘Gilead Now? Resisting the March of Misogyny’. We are in the process of planning a number of events under our rolling new series that draws on Margaret Atwood’s dystopic Handmaid vision to explore reminiscent manifestations of women’s oppression emerging in contemporary societies.

Not yet a WAN member?

All women academic/PGR across any academic discipline can join WAN.

For more information and to register interest in events please contact:

Professor Sara Ashencaen Crabtree:


New CMMPH publication

Congratulations to Charlotte Clayton, PhD student in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on the publication of an article based on her PhD study.  The paper ‘The public health role of case-loading midwives in advancing health equity in childbearing women and babies living in socially deprived areas in England: The Mi-CARE Study protocol’ is co-authored with her supervisors Prof. Ann Hemingway, Dr. Mel Hughes and Dr. Stella Rawnson [1].

This paper in the European Journal of Midwifery is Open Access, and hence freely available to everybody with an internet access.  Charlotte is doing the Clinical Academic Doctoral (CAD) programme at Bournemouth University. The CAD programme provides midwives with bespoke research training, which includes conducting a piece of independent research whilst also remaining in clinical practice. The CAD programme is part of the NIHR Wessex Integrated Academic Clinical Training Pathway and in her PhD study supported by BU and University Hospital Southampton (UHS), where Charlotte works as a midwife). Charlotte use the Twitter handle: @femmidwife.


Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. Clayton S, Hemingway A, Hughes M, Rawnson S (2022) The public health role of caseloading midwives in advancing health equity in childbearing women and babies living in socially deprived areas in England: The Mi-CARE Study protocol, Eur J Midwifery 6(April):17

Second WAN Wellness Retreat

Tired? Harassed? Stressed, sore and stiff? In need of a bit of TLC and revitalisation in a relaxing collegial environment? You are reading the right BU Blog!

Following from our first retreat on the 8th Sept 2021, here is another opportunity for WAN members to enjoy the second of our bespoke WAN Wellness Retreats with our former convenor and in-house SportsBU yoga expert, Dr Melsia Tomlin- Kräftner.

So, what’s in store?

Melsia specialises in rehabilitative ChiRestore and Yoga for many injuries and debilitating health conditions, including stress relief. So come and join us for 3 hours and leave feeling a new woman! For more information go to:

To join us on this complementary retreat email:

Please bring a mat, a towel and a bottle of water. Leave the rest to Melsia!

Date:               6 April 2022.

Time:               9.00-13.00

Location:         Student Hall, Talbot House

If you are not a WAN member but are interested in becoming one, please email Dr Jo Mayoh or Abier Hamidi

Free Person Performing Exercise Stock Photo

‘How we can contribute to a collaborative society that embraces diversity’ 11:00 8th March 2022 is on the way! #BreakTheBias #International Women’s Day

We will have an online event in hourner of the Internaitonal Women’s Day on the 8th March 2022.

This event is open to all.







11:00-11:10 Opening remarks & Agenda of today  Dr Hiroko Oe & Dr Khurshid Djalilov

11:10-11:30 Keynote Dr Angela Turner-Wilson ‘Respect for cultural values and differences’, Faculty of Health & Social  Sciences

<<Round tables>>

11:35-12:00 PGR forum: Nanret Dawuk; Sitsada Sartamorn; Gideon Adu-Gyamf

12:00-12:15 Next generation: Rajshree Talukdar and Tarun Chandrashekar

12:15-12:30 Collaborative testimonials from MBA students; Kayoko Hainsworth, Chrissie Hillyer, and Sharon Kajotoni

12:30-12:40 Comments Associate Professor, Dr Marta Głowacka (Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland) Panel leader

12:40-12:50 Supporting messages

– Ms Nicola Bennet, a policy maker (Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and  ommunications, Australia)

– Ms Suzuko Ohki, a former director of Ministry of Education, ex Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan

12:50-12:55 Future plan proposal from Dr Hiroko Oe

12:55-13:00 Closing remark and messages to the ECRs and PGRs (Helen O’Sullivan, DHOD, MS&I, the Business School


it is online by ZOOM. Please contact for details:

FHSS Women in Science


Tomorrow Friday 11th February is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science.  To celebrate this event we would like to highlight the contributions of three BU female academics in the sciences in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences: Jane Murphy, Rebecca Neal and Amanda Wilding.

Jane Murphy

Prof Jane Murphy – Professor in Nutrition, Co-lead for the Aging and Dementia Research Centre

Jane is a role model as a female research leader committed to solving key nutrition problems in older adults. She has won funding from prestigious organisations like the Burdett Trust for Nursing and NIHR. Jane’s research has direct impact in practice through her clinical lead role in the Wessex Academic Health Science Network. She influences high standards in education and practice in her role as an elected council member for the Association for Nutrition.

Dr. Rebecca Neal– Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology.

Rebecca is an Early Career Research excelling in traditionally male-dominated field of Sport and Exercise Science. Her work in the field of Extreme Environmental Physiology is published in prestigious physiology journals and she has been the recipient of external and internal grants to advance her work. Rebecca contributes greatly to transferring her research finding to the end user, through public engagement events, magazine articles and podcasts aimed at raising the awareness of the issues and needs of individuals exercising in extreme environments.

Dr. Amanda Wilding– Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology

In addition to teaching Sport and Exercise Psychology, Amanda works as a Sports Psychologist in professional male football and Army rugby. Her involvement working in male dominated sports lead to her being invited to lead a workshop on Women in Sport  to women at the Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Saudi Arabia.

New BU social sciences and social work publication

Congratulations to Jane Healy and Rosslyn Dray, both in the Department of Social Sciences & Social Work on their publication today in The Journal of Adult Protection.  Their paper’ Missing links: Safeguarding and disability hate crime responses’ considers the relationship between disability hate crime and safeguarding adults [1]. It critically considers whether safeguarding responses to disability hate crime have changed following the implementation of the Care Act 2014. Historically, protectionist responses to disabled people may have masked the scale of hate crime and prevented them from seeking legal recourse through the criminal justice system (CJS). This paper investigates whether agencies are working together effectively to tackle hate crime.  The authors conclude that raising the profile of disability hate crime within safeguarding teams could lead to achieving more effective outcomes for adults at risk: improving confidence in reporting, identifying perpetrators of hate crimes, enabling the CJS to intervene and reducing the risk of further targeted abuse on the victim or wider community.

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. Healy, J.C.,Dray, R. (2022), Missing links: safeguarding and disability hate crime responses, The Journal of Adult Protection, Online first ahead of print.

New BU paper on digital tools for diabetes

Congratulations to BU PhD student Nurudeen Adesina on the publication of his systematic review.  Nurudeen together with Huseyin Dogan in the Department of Computing & Informatics, Sue Green in the Nursing for Long-term Health Centre, and Fotini Tsofliou in Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) appeared in print just before Christmas with their paper ‘Effectiveness and Usability of Digital Tools to Support Dietary Self-Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review‘ [1].

This new paper highlights that advice on dietary intake is an essential first line intervention for the management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Digital tools such as web-based and smartphone apps have been suggested to provide a novel way of providing information on diet for optimal glucose regulation in women with GDM. This systematic review explored the effectiveness and usability of digital tools designed to support dietary self-management of GDM. A systematic search of Medline, Embase,
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane Library, and Scopus using key search terms identified 1476 papers reporting research studies, of which 16 met the specified inclusion criteria. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the ErasmusAGE Quality Score or the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) version 2018. The findings show that the adoption of digital tools may be an effective approach to support self-management relating to healthy diet, health behaviour, and adherence to therapy in women with GDM as a usable intervention. However, the four authors argue that there is a lack of evidence concerning the effectiveness of tools to support the dietary management of GDM. Consideration for ethnic specific dietary advice and evidence-based frameworks in the development of effective digital tools for dietary management of GDM should be considered as these aspects have been limited in the studies reviewed.


Adesina, N.; Dogan, H.; Green, S.; Tsofliou, F. Effectiveness and Usability of Digital Tools to Support Dietary Self-Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2022, 14, 10.

Announcing the WAN Wellness Mini-Retreat Dec 15

Announcing the (rescheduled) WAN Wellness Retreat fast approaching!

Our WAN (Women’s Academic Network) Wellness Mini-Retreat has been rescheduled to the morning of Wed 15 December. The chance to take care of ourselves under expert tutelage is just what we need after a frenetic semester and before the Christmas madness begins. So join us for a morning of relaxation, recuperation and recovery with friendly folk and our amazing SportsBU Wellness Guru and current WAN convenor, Dr Melsia Tomlin-Kräftner.


Date and time: Wed 15 December, 10.00-13.00.

Venue:  Ashdown Leisure Centre, Canford Heath, Poole (free parking and easy access to Talbot Campus and buses to Lansdowne)

 Retreat Programme and participation requirements:

  • A mid-morning practice of Yoga, ChiRestore & Relaxation to rejuvenate the body.
  • Bring your yoga mat, a large towel, socks & hoodie/woolly.
  • Water, fruits and cereal bars will be provided.
  • Be prepared to stretch…

Please note: The WAN wellness retreat welcomes all members with inclusive activities accessible for people with various levels of disabilities. Just email your requirements so Melsia can be ready to support you.

 Don’t delay – please RSVP to

Not a WAN member yet? No problem.

If you are woman academic or PGR and would like to join WAN and access our events just email

Dr. Samreen Ashraf Guest Talk

Dr. Samreen Ashraf was invited to be a guest speaker at the Virtual Bootcamp even organised at the Foundation University Islamabad- Pakistan for the aspiring entrepreneurs. The event was well attended by national and international audiences.

Samreen presented her talk on understanding the importance of multiple identities for entrepreneurs to excel in their respective projects. While talking about entrepreneurial identity, Samreen shared some key takeaways, first,  importance of understanding who one is to be able to know their own skills, attributes and values, second, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses which then enable them to recognise the right opportunities, third, thinking out of the box and saying ‘No’ to any of the opportunities which are beyond entrepreneurs scope and might not align with their entrepreneurial identities.

The talk was very well received by the students, staff of Foundation University and others present at the event.