Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

University launches UK’s first law centre dedicated to studying discrimination against Women

Published: 16 November 2018
Stefan Cross visits the Law school
Stefan Cross visits the Law school

Our Southampton Law School has launched the Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality & Law (SCC), thanks to a generous donation from Law School alumnus, Mr Stefan Cross QC (Hons).

The SCC will be the first centre of its kind in the country dedicated to tackling this issue. It will be staffed by academics and doctoral researchers who will work with experts across a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds and hold regular public events to spark conversation about where gender inequality occurs and understand the roots of the problem. They will also undertake research projects into the broad range of social, cultural and legal issues associated with gender discrimination to identify what needs to change to reduce the problem.

Stefan Cross graduated from the University in 1982 and went on to become one of the UK’s leading employment lawyers. He has secured compensation for thousands of women, starting with the “Cleveland Dinner Ladies” case in 1995 when Cleveland County Council paid out millions of pounds in compensation to women who had been paid less than men in equivalent roles. Most recently he has featured prominently in the national news for a case in Glasgow, where he is representing council workers bringing a similar claim against their employer. He is one of only around 20 solicitors to be appointed as an Honorary QC, which he received for his work in pursuing equal pay cases.

Throughout his legal career, Stefan has been a generous supporter of the University, funding a bursary scheme to support Law School students to progress their studies, regardless of their financial background.

The Centre for Women, Equality and Law was officially opened on 15 November with a distinguished lecture by Stefan Cross where he spoke about the “Myths and Legends of Equal Pay”.

Speaking at the launch of the centre, Stefan Cross QC said:

“My interest in gender equality comes from my background; my mother suffered considerably injustices when she was bringing us up and I wanted to do something about it. I saw the jobs she did that were incredibly difficult and incredibly badly paid and under-valued and that’s the message that I’ve been trying to get across for 30 years, women have been undervalued.

I’ve made this donation because I believe that the law can play a significant role in changing women’s lives and I wanted to put the issues of gender equality as legal subject back on the agenda. I also want to see a community that can try to effect change; like-minded spirits should be joined together because together they make a much stronger force.”

More information on upcoming activities and publication can be found on the centre’s website .

Stefan Cross inaugural lecture
Stefan Cross inaugural lecture
Privacy Settings