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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality & Law

Southampton Law School has launched the Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality & Law (SCC), thanks to a generous donation from Southampton Law School alumnus, Mr Stefan Cross QC. The purpose of the Centre is to raise awareness of discrimination against women and girls, investigate the causes of this discrimination and seek effective solutions.

The SCC will provide a space to research the structural, societal, legal and regulatory issues associated with gender discrimination from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The research seeks to better understand the roots of the phenomenon, raise awareness about it and find more effective ways to address it. We will disseminate the research through a variety of channels, including academic publications and government consultation processes, in order to inform policy, drive change and ultimately help to reduce discrimination.

Launch of the Stefan Cross Centre

The recent launch of the Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality & Law

Find out more

Inaugural lecture - Myths and Legends of Equal Pay

Myths and Legends of Equal Pay- Inaugural lecture

Date: 15 November 2018
Time: 18:45
Location Murray Lecture Theatre, Building 58, Highfield Campus
Speaker Mr Stefan Cross, QC

Stefan Cross QC (LLB (Law), 1982) is recognised as one of the UK’s leading employment lawyers; his pioneering equal pay litigation has changed the legal landscape. He has secured compensation for thousands of women in local authorities across Britain who had been paid less than men in equivalent roles, first on behalf of trade unions and later establishing the first practice to take employment cases on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. In 2013 he was appointed as an Honorary Queen’s Counsel (QC) in recognition of his contribution to pay equality, one of only a small number of solicitors to be awarded this venerable distinction. A committed supporter of the University, he is currently funding gender discrimination law activity at Southampton.

Seminar Series - Achieving work-life balance and career progression in the legal profession

Wednesday, 24th of October – 15:00-16:30h (refreshments will be offered after the seminar)
Speaker: Ms Simone Ritchie, Property Litigator, Consultant Solicitor at Woodstock Property Law and listed in 'The legal 500' as one of the best property solicitors in the country

Synopsis: Achieving good career progression and work-life balance tends to be challenging in the legal profession. In this seminar Simone Ritchie will share her personal experiences on how to successfully juggle work and family life.

Room: Building 58, Room 1065, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ

Seminar Series - The potential impact of Brexit on gender equality in the field of employment: an interdisciplinary perspective

Wednesday, 5th of December - 16:00-17:30h (refreshments will be offered after the seminar)
Speakers: Dr Ania Zbyszewska, Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick (Law School); Dr Julie MacLeavy (tbc), Reader at the University of Bristol (Geographical Sciences School).

Synopsis: In this seminar Dr Julie MacLeavy will discuss the potential impact of Brexit on gender equality from a general and interdisciplinary perspective, whereas Dr Ania Zbyszewska will specifically focus on its potential consequences as regards working-time and work-life balance regulation.

Room: Building 54, Room 7033, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ

Seminar Series - Gender Equality and the Gender Pay Gap in Italy

Wednesday, 6th February - 1400 - 1500h (Refreshments will be provided.)

Research seminar by Dr. Francesca Marinelli, Researcher and Professore Aggregato di Diritto del Lavoro, Dipartimento di Diritto Privato e Storiadel Diritto (Università degli Studi di Milano)

ABSTRACT: The talk will focus on the issue of gender equality in Italy. The main goal is explaining why - despite the increased protection against gender disparity set up by the Italian lawmaker in recent years (under the pressure of the European Union) -, gender discrimination in the workplace is still a widespread phenomenon to fight in Italy. In particular, the talk will focus on the gender pay gap and will consider the contrast between the last  Eurofound report on this subject, where Italy seems to be doing better than many countries in Europe, while, on the other hand, "The Global Gender Gap 2017 Report"  (published by the World Economic Forum), puts Italy 82nd in the global gender gap index measuring the gender gap in broader terms.

Room: 58/1049

RSVP here 


Seminar Series - Gender Equality in Academia: an interdisciplinary discussion on the REF and precarious contracts

Wednesday, 27th February - 1600 - 1730hr (Refreshments will be provided)

Research seminar by Dr Emily Yarrow (Edinburgh) and Dr Ania Zbyszewska (Warwick)

Room 58/1023



Dr Emily Yarrow, University of Edinburgh Business School -  REF-A contemporary academic inequality catalyst?

This research investigated gender equality issues surrounding the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014), and how these may manifest themselves in the career development and career trajectories of female academics in the UK. The potentially harmful effects of research evaluation on academic careers, the way in which research evaluation and its outcomes are managed and experienced, and the extent to which this may intensify academic work were all considered as well as being integral aspects of the interview guides. However, this research also explored, through some of the emergent themes from the interviews, how research evaluation and its outcomes are used as a vehicle for success by some academics. Through exploring new managerialism, gendered academic career trajectories and research evaluation, this research compared and contrasted different Schools in Humanities and Social Sciences in an anonymous UK university, in order to provide contemporary insight into the lived experiences of female academics in the context of REF2014.

Dr Ania Zbyszewska, University of Warwick School of Law - Elite and Precarious? Neoliberal Reforms, Fragmented Solidarities and Resistance among Academic Workers

Academics have in recent years experienced increasing, albeit uneven, erosion in work conditions. In the UK this can be partly attributed to the interplay between structural changes associated with the reforms of higher education and the parallel rise of academic capitalism. With their (neoliberal) emphasis on merit and equalization of opportunities these reforms promised to widen access to ‘elite’ work to a broader range of people in a sector long stratified by gender, race and class. In reality, they have contributed to the overall growth of insecurity, along with polarization of working conditions. The increasing competition within the sector together with (internalized) categorization of academics as independent ethos-driven workers have tended to feed these developments, fragmenting solidarity and undermining resistance. Recent campaigns such as the 2018 pension strike and challenges to university statutory reforms, illustrate that rebuilding a sense of collective interests is necessary to overcome the growth of insecurity and precariousness and challenge enduring inequalities within the sector.

About the speakers:

Dr Emily Yarrow is a Teaching Fellow and Researcher at the University of Edinburgh Business School, currently lecturing on the MSc in International HRM and MSc HRM programmes. Her research interests include human resource management with a focus on equality and diversity, organisational theory, inequality regimes, and cross-cultural management issues. To date her research has focused on the impact of research evaluation on female academic careers, women’s lived experiences in organisations, pensions, and the experiences of older workers. Emily’s research aims to be at the forefront of research into the Research Excellence Framework (REF), contributing empirical findings to the discourse in an original and innovative way. Emily's research adopts a case study approach, employing semi-structured interviews to provide rich insight into the lived experiences of female academics in the context of research evaluation. Emily has also been integral in recent projects for the Scottish Government and corporate consultancy at The University of Edinburgh Business School. Prior to returning to academia, Emily worked in the Banking and Finance sector with Scottish Widows, and later for Proctor and Gamble as a buyer.


Dr Ania Zbyszewska is an Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick School of Law. She is also the Director of Warwick’s interdisciplinary research network, Connecting Research on Employment and Work (CREW). She researches regulation of work, its interaction with other areas of social and economic policy, and its gendered aspects. Her research also explores the relationship between law and politics, especially in multilevel governance contexts (i.e. EU) or under conditions of political-economic and institutional change. She is the author of Gendering European Working Time Regimes: The Working Time Directive and the Case of Poland (CUP 2016), and has published on issues of working time, work-family reconciliation, active aging and age discrimination. Dr. Zbyszewska held Research Fellowships at the University of Warwick (2013-2016) and the Lund University Faculty of Law in Sweden (2015). Her doctoral thesis was awarded the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) Best Thesis prize in 2013, and she has received funding from the ESRC, Socio-Legal Studies Association, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Interuniversity Centre on Work and Globalization (CRIMT). Her PhD in Law and Society is from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law in Canada.



Seminar Series - Living Together’: The ECtHR, Veiling and Prevent

Wednesday, 15th May - 1300 - 1400 0hr

Research seminar by Dr Megan Pearson (University of Southampton)

Abstract and Registration TBC

Room 04/4055

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