8th EWORA Conference, 2-3 Nov, 2023, Kadir Has University

The 8th EWORA Conference was held at the Kadir Has University, Istanbul on 2-3 November 2023.

The conference was attended by a distinguished gathering of over sixty academics who came together to share their knowledge and expertise on the topic of global female leadership. The special focus of the conference was on “Global Female Leadership and the Future of Universities”



This event also marked the 15th anniversary the European Women Rectors Conference Series.

The first conference titled “Women Academics Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Women Rectors across Europe” was organised and hosted by Istanbul Technical University on 11th of November 2008. In that conference, we have started to share experiences and developed new ideas to improve the conditions for women academics to remove the barriers for horizontal and vertical segregation. The participants of the first conference also agreed upon furthering this exchange and establishing a network by holding similar conferences every two years regularly in the future which eventually paved the way for the establishment of EWORA in 2015.


Since 2008, leaders from the academia and the private sector both male and female, prominent political figures, policy makers and experts from all over the world, the private sector and academia, have met together in various European cities. We have witnessed that there is an advancement of gender equality at all levels of higher education but we have also mentioned that this advancement is too slow especially at senior levels. Accordingly, we have discussed the strategies and policies that could be employed to improve the inclusion of women at top-management levels of academia.


The Istanbul event this year identified the experiences from which wider lessons can be learnt, using concrete country cases. She Figures 2021 still reports that women remain underrepresented in senior leadership positions of higher education and research. We whave reflected on the achievements, challenges and opportunities that women rectors and senior leaders experience in their positions and discuss the methodologies that can be used to improve their effectiveness and performances as leaders. The conference also aimed to analyse and compare the different international practices and policies in the enhancement of the future of the universities.


We gatherd together and asked “What will universities of the future look like?” and  highlighted the “importance of women in leadership roles” in shaping this future. We have also identified the developments on gender equality in the last 15 years, and we will further develop strategies for challenging gender equality to remove barriers and speed up improvements for increasing women representation at top level of University administration.


This year’s conference also included the MEDNIGHT GALA. 

MEDNIGHT, the Mediterranean Researchers’ Night, includes among its activities the selection of the Mediterranean Science Team and the grand Gala at which the 11 chosen scientists of the Team were presented to the public, and the media. With the Mediterranean Science Team, MEDNIGHT seeks unity through science for 23 countries bordering the same sea. Mednight has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101061190