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A New Deal


The lack of Women in leadership positions has been a widely and deeply felt issue for many years. Year after year, we see candidates in students’ union elections and elected officers that do not reflect the diverse membership of their students’ unions.

Women make up the majority of the student population yet only a handful of Presidents are women. 

This lack of women in leadership positions has a significant impact on the outputs of students’ unions, the number of women working in students’ unions and the charity sector as a whole and ultimately, women in high profile leadership positions throughout society. 

This priority also crosses the three other liberation campaigns of NUS.  When we look at these three campaigns, representation of women in this area is even rarer. 

There is a significant lack of women in leadership positions, not just within the student movement but in society as a whole, who are Black women, LGBT women and disabled women.

Over the next 12 months, NUS will be working with students’ unions to increase voter turnout and to increase the number of women standing in elections. 

We will also be creating a Women’s leadership development and mentoring scheme to connect, support, train and build the confidence of potential Women leaders.

We know that women in leadership positions across society are underrepresented and believe it’s due to systematic problems which need to be addressed in a meaningful and strategic way, not simply by training women, but as well as. 

We will also be addressing structural barriers to participation and organisational cultures which prevent a large proportion of women students seeking out leadership positions.

By building this strategic priority into all areas of our work across the organisation, we hope to not only have an impact in students’ union elections, but ultimately on addressing the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in society as a whole.

What we are doing with students’ unions…

  • Increasing diversity of candidates in elections (Diversifying the Movement project)
  • Mentoring scheme for women in the student movement
  • Tackling lad culture on campus

What are we seeking from people in power…

  • Recognition of the work we are doing to tackle this issue
  • Significant steps by the Government to combat gender issues such as pay gap and diversity in leadership positions

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Hello, I'm NUS National President Toni Pearce and welcome to our national campaigns' page.

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