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Dr Victoria Showunmi
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
20 Bedford Way
Tel: 0207 911 5443
Dr Victoria Showunmi profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education
Research Summary

I have developed a national and international reputation for my work on identity and leadership. The emerging themes of are gender identity and race in the context of leadership, and the implications for the experiences of learners and educators. In the early part of my research career I focused on the experiences of ethnic minorities in ITT, whilst latterly my research spans across two related themes: first, gender, education, leadership and empowerment, and second, young Black women’s experiences of education in the context of their well-being.

I have been the principal and co-principal investigator for five research projects. The UK WomenKind project centred on women and violence, nationally and internationally. A project on identity and leadership, funded by Race in the Community and BELMAS, explored non-white women in senior leadership positions across sectors in England. My ‘Coaching and Mentoring’ project explored how coaching and mentoring can assist with the progression and development of BME staff. More recent projects include Gender and Leadership in Higher Education in Pakistan: Capturing the voices of BME PhD students (funded through the Liberating Curriculum); and Black Girls/Young Black women’s experiences in education. These projects have led to publications in peer-reviewed journals such as EMAG and Curriculum Inquiry. The research also informed book chapters; for instance, The Role of the ‘Black Girls Club’ Challenging the Status Quo Feminist Pedagogy, Practice and Activism. I have been commissioned to write a co-authored book with Carol Tomlin entitled: Managing Everyday Racism (Lexington Rowman & Littlefield) and an edited book – the Bloomsbury Gender Handbook on Educational leadership and Management (Bloomsbury).

Teaching Summary


From 2008 I have worked with BA and MA students to identify and address issues connected to their university experience at UCL IOE. This has helped to improve the quality of education in response to their feedback. In 2017 I was appointed as the Minority Migrant Refugee (MMR) Co-Module Leader and then Module Leader in 2019, I redesigned the format of the programme in order to provide a more interactive pedagogical approach. In 2019 I became the Module leader interim Module leader for Sociology and Race and subsequently the Module leader.

I am an international visiting scholar, working with colleagues in North America, Brazil, Pakistan, China, Azerbaijan, Ireland, Germany, South Africa and the Caribbean. A key area of work is the module leader on three BA and MA programmes in Germany, in which I introduce Black Feminist Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies. These programmes are popular, enabling students to be challenged and critically engaged in discussions on equality and difference. I have also designed and delivered early career research writing workshops for women in Pakistan. Following receipt of prestigious British Academy funding, I was the co-principal investigator on a research project which explored gender and leadership in four universities in Pakistan

I have been Programme Leader for EdD at Maynooth University and Module leader for Coaching and Mentoring and Leadership and communication. 

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