The Women’s Cafe

womens cafe

“At networking events [White people] talk about their lifestyle and things like that. It’s completely two different worlds… and its just like you know… anyone with a hijab – they wouldn’t be there.”

Alumni interviews, April 2018

We are launching The Women’s Cafe at Queen Mary University of London! Come and join BreakThrough! for a chilled out afternoon, talking about things that matter to women of colour and impact our experiences of university life.

Join us every last Monday of the month from 3.30pm-5.30pm, at the St Benet’s Chaplaincy yurt. Free hot drinks and snacks provided.

Speak your mind in a supportive, alcohol-free space where your reflections will become part of how BreakThrough! develop further interventions and recommendations aimed at equalising women of colour’s success and opportunities.

The Women’s Cafe opening hours

Monday 28th January 2019 – Are Women of Colour being listened to? We discuss the barriers and challenges we face as women of colour at university. In particular, we discuss the problems with current provisions for dealing with complaints, anxieties and discrimination women of colour face on campus and in the curriculum.  Join us from 3.30-5.30pm!

Monday 25th February 2019 – Who do Women of Colour look up to? We ask who makes a good role model for women of colour and why are role models so difficult to find at universities? Join us from 3.30-5.30pm!

Monday 25th March 2019 – Women of Colour in Careers – How do we navigate barriers to gaining professional employment? Women of colour are least likely to find graduate work and when they do, they are often underpaid and battle to get a promotion. We will explore these issues together in today’s session. Join us from 3.30-5.30pm!

Monday 29th April 2019 – Panel discussion: Women of Colour narratives of surviving and thriving as entrepreneursJoin us for a panel discussion with women of colour entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses outside of white privileged structures. Join us from 3.30-5.30pm!

Why we need The Women’s Cafe…

During the first phase of our research, we asked Bangladeshi women students and alumni about careers networking events and how they engaged with these get togethers. Overwhelmingly, our findings show that networking events are badly designed, do not include Bangladeshi women and are hostile places for many people of colour. Further, our data suggests that women of colour are repeatedly marginalised and their voices are not taken seriously. The Women’s Cafe is a hybrid format combining research and engagement activities so that BreakThrough! can continue to conduct research while ensuring the most marginalised opinions and experiences are fed back to people making decisions.

We want to transform campus events by creating a relaxed and alcohol-free mobile cafe – that centers QMUL students and alumni who identify as a woman of colour or a Global South woman. We want to establish a community within our university that will enable women of colour to make meaningful connections or enjoy a bit of ‘me-time’ while listening to music, invited speakers and talks from our own students and alumni. We will serve free smoothies, milkshakes, juices and a variety of seasonal snacks in a laid back atmosphere.

Please contact us to tell us to tell us what you think of the idea or come and visit us at one of the sessions!

“In-group solidarity works!”

Focus group discussions, SBM, June 2018