News story

Rapidly growing #womeninlearning movement launches vital new research

LondonLearning NewsWomen In Learning

Due to the lack of women in senior roles across learning and development, a new survey launching today – open to everyone in the industry – is digging deeper into this important area to understand how a better balance can be achieved.


Eye-opening research first conducted by Donald H Taylor with the global Learning and Skills Group community in 2015 highlighted that men are twice as likely to have leadership roles in learning.

The Elliott Masie Learning Conferences in the US were the first to highlight the topic of Women in Learning, going back to 2011 but the situation did not improve.

Follow-up research conducted with the Learning and Skills Group in 2018 demonstrated a widening gender gap, with only 31% of senior leadership roles in learning being filled by women.

This data prompted the rapid growth of the #womeninlearning movement in 2019. In the last three months, over 500 members have got involved and associated events and resources are being co-ordinated and created worldwide as a result.

As an originator of #womeninlearning, Sharon Claffey-Kaliouby comments, ‘The challenges of women reaching senior leadership roles in the learning profession are unfortunately age old, and not unique to our industry. But what is particularly intriguing is that the gender balance across more junior and support roles: two to three women to every man – compared to a role reversal in senior positions. So why aren’t more women getting to the top? I’ve requested the stats mentioned above and led global panels on this topic for almost a decade. I am delighted by the way the movement has finally caught fire and feel now is the time for positive change.’

Co-founder, Kate Graham, continues, ‘I’ve always considered the learning industry to be a good example in terms of gender balance, but the headline statistics tell us otherwise. This new research is vital to explore some of the drivers behind why that is and provide insights into how we can start to address that. We’re hoping both men and women take part in the research to give a rounded story, because this is ultimately a positive conversation about how we can all work together to create a fairer future for our profession.’

The initial results of the research will be exclusively revealed at next month’s first ever Women in Learning conference, organised by Thrive Learning and getabstract. The survey is open to everyone regardless of gender or role across workplace learning, consultants and freelancers, vendors and suppliers, and education.

People can take part anonymously in the research at and get involved in the online community at

About #womeninlearning

#womeninlearning is a movement aimed at all those working in learning and development roles – regardless of gender! Whether you currently work for an in-house team as an L&D practitioner, are an independent coach or consultant, work for a supply side/vendor organisation or work in education, the goal is to create a network that champions the representation and balance of women across the profession.

Contact: Kate Graham
Mobile: 07788246596
Twitter: @kategraham23