Responding to Evolving Challenges: Best Practices for Women Leadership in Academia



13-14 May, 2019,

Malmö University


The European Women Rectors Association is happy to announce the "6th European Women Rectors Conference” which will take place at Malmö University on 13-14 May, 2019. The special focus of the conference will be on “Responding to Evolving Challenges: Best Practices for Women Leadership in Academia”. EWORA cordially invites women in leadership positions at universities and research organizations, gender experts and members of higher education networks to join us at the conference.


The main objectives of this conference are “responding to evolving challenges” and “building best practices” towards achieving gender equality in HE and Research.  The conference intends to reach these objectives through the analysis and comparison of various policies, strategies and best practices being employed in different contexts at the European and global level.

At this conference EWORA will also present its 2nd EWORA Honorary Award Ceremony to celebrate actions that have turned equality policies into practice.

According to the latest statistics by She Figures, some progress towards gender equality has taken place at senior decision making positions in higher education.  “Within the EU-28, the proportion of women heads of institutions is 15 %, which represents an improvement from 2010, when only 10 % of heads of institutions were women” (EC, 2016). Despite the progress, “the proportion of women remains lower than the proportion of men in all but one countries (Sweden) for which data are available. (EC, 2016). She Figures also report Nordic countries are the ones with the highest proportion of women at leadership positions in Higher education.


At the 6th EWORA conference, through the interactive panels and sessions we shall discuss the main obstacles behind the slow advancement of gender equality at the managerial positions and investigate new methodologies for building up best practices.

We cordially invite you to attend the 6th European Women Rectors Conference & EWORA 2nd Honorary Award Ceremony and look forward to work together to increase women’s effectiveness at decision making levels in higher education and research.


The first four  European Women Rectors conferences were organized by the European Women Rectors Platform under the auspices of the Beyond the Glass Ceiling programme and hosted by Istanbul Technical University. EWORA, the European Women Rectors Association was established in 2015 and has since then taken on the activities of Women Rectors Platform. More information about EWORA and its activities is available at www.ewora.org

Since the establishment of this conference series in 2008, European Women Rectors Conferences have attracted over 200 women leaders to exchange ideas and to encourage women to accept leadership positions in academia.

5th European Women Rectors Conference organized by EWORA in 2017 at Solvay Library, Brussels aimed to promote a better understanding of gender disparity in academic leadership by discussing the policies, strategies and actions employed in different European HE institutions for empowering women academics and achieving gender equality.  Helene Hellmark Knuttson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research, honored us in this conference with a keynote address.

At the EWORA Board of Directors meeting held on November 17, 2017 it was unanimously agreed to celebrate the International Women’s day on March 8 every year by honouring major gender equality initiatives. An award was thus created to be given in recognition of best practices, actions and policies addressing  gender-based discrimination as well as empowering women, particularly women in academia.

During the 1st EWORA Workshop titled "Change Management and Resistance" at the University of Lisbon Nova, on May 24-25, 2018, 1st EWORA Honorary AWARD Ceremony was held at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal. EWORA’s first honorary award was presented to the Swedish Government as the first Feminist Government in the world. EWORA is very proud that the Swedish Government agreed to accept the Honorary Award.