University of Sheffield has impressive women executives

University of Sheffield has impressive women executives

The University of Sheffield's mission is to attract, grow and engage talent, from all backgrounds and all sectors of society, right through to executive roles.

One of the University's targets is focused around increasing the representation of women at professorial level. There are numerous avenues of support for academic women at University and Faculty level, for example mentoring, networks and initiatives aimed at raising the profile of women across the University. The University is also committed to continuing a range of action to address their gender pay gap. 

Find out more about profiles and responsibilities of women leading on the University's Executive Board.

Professor Susan Fitzmaurice, Vice-President and Head of Faculty Arts and Humanities

Women Executives

Susan takes the lead in directing the faculty, which has over 350 staff and 3,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Chair of English Language in the School of English

Susan is Chair of English Language in the School of English and was previously Head of the School. An internationally regarded scholar of English Historical Linguistics, she leads the collaborative research Linguistic DNA project funded by the AHRC.

Previous roles in academia

Professor Fitzmaurice has been at the University since 2006. She was previously at Northern Arizona University where she was Professor of English and Head of Department, and then Dean of the College of Arts and Letters until December 2005. From 1987 to 1995, she was University Lecturer in English and Fellow of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, and from 1984 to 1986, she was Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Cape Town.

She serves on the Council of the Philological Society as the Society’s Honorary Secretary for Publications (Monographs). She co-edits the Journal of Historical Pragmatics with Professor Dawn Archer. She is also a member of the editorial board of the Cambridge University Press Studies in English Language series and a founder editorial board member of the Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics. She is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Gill Valentine

Gill is an outstanding ambassador for equality in academia and is the University’s senior LGBT+ champion.

In 2017 she won the national Excellence in Diversity Award in the category of Diversity Champion in the Education Sector and was also recognised by colleagues for her contribution to the life of the University through the Portrait of a Woman initiative. 

World-leading research promoting equality

Promoting equality also influences Gill’s world-leading research. She has won the highly regarded Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographies Murchison Award for her work on the geography of difference, equality and diversity and the RGS/IBG Gill Memorial Award for contributions to Geography and gender, as well as a Philip Leverhulme prize for high achieving scholars and a Sage prize for innovation and excellence.

In her career to date Gill has won research grants with a value of over £5 million, including a prestigious European Research Council Advanced Investigator award, and has published 17 books and over 170 articles. Gill is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and plays an active role in both her discipline of Geography and wider social science communities.

Prior role in the Faculty of Social Sciences

Prior to taking up the role of Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Gill was inspirational in her role as Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences. She developed a leadership team who together defined a set of interdisciplinary thematic priorities for the Faculty, quadrupled its research income, produced creative innovations in learning and teaching and developed a set of strategic international partnerships aligned with funding priorities.

Gill returned to the University of Sheffield in September 2012 having previously worked here from 1994 to 2004 as a lecturer, senior lecturer and professor in the Department of Geography. In between Gill was Head of the School of Geography at the University of Leeds where she also served as Director of the Leeds Social Science Institute. In addition, Gill has held academic posts at the Universities of Manchester and Reading. Before settling into an academic career Gill trained as a journalist, working for Haymarket Publications and BBC Wales.

Research interests 

Gill's research interests are focused in three interconnected areas: diversity and social inclusion; childhood, parenting and family life; and urban cultures and consumption. Although she trained as a geographer, much of Gill's work has been interdisciplinary involving collaboration with social science colleagues from Departments of: Education, Sociology and Social Policy, Information Studies and Theology and Religious Studies.

Gill has held international visiting fellowships at University of Sydney, Australia and University of Otago, New Zealand and has served in a number of international advisory roles including, for example, as a member of a Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities (QANU) research assessment committee and as an external assessor for the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal.

Realise your leadership ambitions at the University of Sheffield

At the University of Sheffield, women undertake important research and contribute their unique experiences to help maintain the academic institution's global reputation.

If you want to work at a leading university, search and apply for jobs today.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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