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UK WEN: Peer Learning Sets (PLS)

UK WEN Peer Learning Sets (3)

Peer Learning Sets fall within the UK Women in Economics NetworkAction’ Initiative. The aim of the ‘action’ initiative is to drive positive change through peer-learning and best practice sharing amongst women.

Peer learning sets will achieve this by facilitating discussion on a shared challenge or development aim. The objective is for peer groups to discuss and implement practical solutions to the shared issue, thus bringing about personal, professional and/or cultural change in economics within and across institutions/sectors.   

We are offering the opportunity for women economists to become a Peer Learning Set Facilitator where you will receive training and support to develop and run a PLS. The form to apply is at the bottom of this page. 

Becoming a trained PLS Facilitator will provide you with facilitation and ‘action-learning’ skills, along with a framework and templates to assist in the running of your own Peer Learning Set. 

This initiative aims to support any woman economist who would like to initiate or lead a change in their department or organisation around common challenges – such as the treatment of women economists in the classroom, the disproportional allocation of non-promotable jobs, and the higher expectations on women to mentor and support.  

Each Peer Learning Set consists of 4-6 women economists at a similar career stage, who come together to work collaboratively on addressing a specific issue within the economics profession.

They will meet at least monthly for a minimum period of 3 months, or more likely over 6 months. The Peer Learning Set will agree ways of working at the start of their first session. It is anticipated that each session will last 1-1.5 hours, and the group will focus on actionable tasks that they can go away and work on in between sessions, to report back to the group.

The groups are action-focused and create space for like-minded individuals to develop their thinking around a specific challenge or issue, share experiences and collaboratively identify specific actions to make progress.

We will not be prescriptive on the topics addressed; it could be anything from the allocation of non-promotable work, to sharing best practice for achieving an Athena Swan Award.

Individuals who would like to run a Peer Learning Set (PLS) will be trained to be a PLS Facilitator. 

The first 2-hour training session for facilitators was held on 5 March 2024. A second session is planned for May and will provide:

  • training in specific skills and tasks required to run a group
  • a taster session of the kind of shared challenge or development aim for a PLS, and
  • a framework and templates to assist facilitators in running their own groups.

At the end of the programme, the group will be brought back together for a reflection session to share feedback on the framework and templates in practice, and any additional learning or support required.

Please note that there are 25 places available and whilst non-members can apply, priority will be given to RES members.

The facilitator training is suitable for you if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You have a network of individuals who would be enthusiastic to join a peer learning set.
  2. You have already identified an issue or challenge that you would like to progress. You can have more than one idea but would agree which issues would be addressed in the PLS.
  3. You can commit the time to;
    • attend the virtual training session which gives information on how to run a PLS.
    • bring together the peer learning set on a regular (monthly) basis for a minimum of 3 months.
    • prepare for and facilitate the sessions.
    • provide feedback to the RES on progress and outcomes of the PLS. A short questionnaire will be provided.
  4. You are willing to join a future reflection session to share feedback and learnings on the process.

As a PLS facilitator, you will get a 2-hour training session from an experienced external consultant who will train you in the tools you need to develop and run your peer learning set.

As part of the training, you will receive a framework and templates to assist in the running of your peer learning set.

The RES Office will provide touchpoints during the learning set ‘running period’ to provide generalised support and field any further queries. 

The RES will also provide a reflection session with the external consultant to capture feedback and learnings from the process.

Should a peer learning set wish to access additional time from the external consultant, this is possible but would be self-funded by the peer learning set members.

Apply to become a PLS Facilitator

The first training session was held virtually in early March 2024. A second, condensed session will be held on 22 May 2024 13:30 – 14:30. 

To apply to join the training and become a PLS facilitator, please complete this form.  

If you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail to find out if it is right for you, please contact us and we will be happy to provide more information or schedule a call with you.

To become a member of the RES click here. To join the UK WEN mailing list, please click here

PLS Facilitator Training: Apply

Please fill in the form linked below to apply for the next PLS facilitator training which will be on 22 May 2024 13:30 – 14:30 (via zoom).