Manchester Metropolitan University

Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership Project (GROWL)

Supporting evidence-led enquiry and innovation in your organisation

The UK may have had two female Prime Ministers but the fact remains that there are far fewer women in leadership roles in the UK, compared to men. 

There is considerable research evidence that tells us how organisational processes obstruct women’s progression and retention in leadership roles. And pioneering organisations are developing successful initiatives to create better routes for women’s leadership. But how do you access this knowledge and work out which insights and practices can drive innovation in your organisation?

The Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership (GROWL) Toolkit puts organisations in dialogue with research evidence and better practice, and embeds them in a learning network so they can deepen their understanding of the challenges in their own organisation – thereby innovating practice that develops and retains female talent into leadership roles. 

The GROWL Toolkit

Our Toolkit consists of the following:


Research and Consultancy

For Manchester Metropolitan University, GROWL is primarily a process of engagement with organisations but we are also using this process to conduct research into how organisations create better routes for women’s leadership.

We are interested in going deeper to co-enquire with organisations into the problems that obstruct women's leadership and ways of generating better routes for women's leadership. Do get in touch to talk about commissioning consultancy or research.

(From left to right) GROWL project leaders Dr Helen Woolnough and Professor Julia Rouse are joined by Lindsay Watkin, Associate Head of the Department of Management at Manchester Met Business School, at the Northern Power Women Conference 2017.

How do I get involved?

By joining us you will be part of our enquiry into how research and practice knowledge can be translated, exchanged and put into dialogue with a range of organisational contexts to create better routes for women’s leadership. You can get involved in a number of ways:

1. Join our Network

To join our GROWL Network and receive a free copy of our GROWL Toolkit, please contact:

2. Download our first two Enquiry Tools

Developing – Mentoring and Sponsoring to Generate Routes for Women’s Leadership

Read onlineDownload PDF (Developing)

Synchronising Women’s Leadership Career Pathways and Family Lives

Read onlineDownload PDF (Synchronising)

3. Attend one of our events  

GROWL 2019 events to be announced soon at this stage–

4. Arrange a Meeting

To arrange a meeting with us, please contact Dr Helen Woolnough or by telephone on (0161) 247 3000.

5. GROWL with us.

For more information about opportunities to work with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership team, please download the flyer.

Download Growl Flyer

The GROWL Team

GROWL is run by the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. It is led by Professor Julia Rouse and Dr Helen Woolnough and supported by a wider team of academics expert in workplace and gender including Professor Carol Atkinson, Dr Valerie Antcliff, Dr Sally Jones and Dr Kate Lewis.

GROWL is governed by an Advocacy and Advisory Group that includes Simone Roche (Northern Power Women), Vanda Murray (University Governor) and Professor Julia Clarke (Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Business and Law) and an Academic Advisory Group that includes Professor Jackie Ford (University of Bradford).

We also work with organisational partners who have agreed to be ‘critical friends’.