Women in Leadership at OR62

Whatever your gender, join our four distinguished OR/analytics leaders to explore issues around leadership in our profession

13:00 - 15:00 | Monday 14 September 2020

Gender imbalance is real and present in both academia and industry despite some actions being taken so as to progress towards a fairer world. Climbing the career ladder and reaching the top is even more difficult for women than for men.  But getting there is only the first step - do women have different leadership styles? do they face different challenges? Join four distinguished female leaders from OR/Analytics to discuss their vision on/definition of leadership, their personal journey and some tips and tricks for future generations.

The OR Society’s ‘Women in OR and Analytics Network’ aims to help women overcome barriers to working in OR and analytics by strengthening networks, encouragement and support. In this event, we are delighted to be joined by international organisation WISDOM (Women In Society: Doing Operational Research and Management Science), which aims to provide a platform to support, empower and encourage the participation of all genders in Operational Research within EURO

This session would be useful to both female and male conference attendees.

What to expect

Our aim is to inspire all OR & Analytics females both in academia and industry to achieve their full potential as leaders, working alongside their male counterparts.

After giving a 2-minute introduction about themselves, speakers are invited to a round-table discussion where they will answer both pre-set and live questions from the audience.

12:55pm Arrrival of participants (please aim to arrive before the prompt start time of 1pm)
1:00pm Welcome to WORAN meets WISDOM at OR62 - What are WORAN and WISDOM?
  • Frances O’Brien, Chair, Women in OR and Analytics Network
  • Paula Carroll, Chair, Women In Society doing OR and Management Science
1:10pm Panel session "Women in Leadership"
  • Chair: Prof Sally Brailsford, Professor of Management Science and Associate Dean (Research & Enterprise), University of Southampton
  • Prof Julia Bennell, Executive Dean, Leeds University Business School; EURO Vice-President 2
  • Leila Seith Hassan, Head of Data Science and Analytics, Digitas
  • Hiroko Plant, Lead Analyst, Land Registry
  • Prof Noel-Ann Bradshaw, Head of School of Computing and Digital Media, London Metropolitan University
(a 2-minute introduction from each speaker, followed by Q&A, mixing pre-submitted questions with live questions from you the audience)
2:00pm Comfort break
2:10pm Chair’s summary of panel discussion
2:15pm Self-facilitated small group break-out: which points resonated most with you? Do you still have burning questions for a conversation that will continue after this event? plus exchange of introductions and contact details
2:35pm Return to plenary, wrapup including how can you join/follow WORAN and WISDOM
2:45pm Close




Meet our speakers

Julia Bennell
Executive Dean, Leeds University Business School; EURO Vice-President

Professor Julia Bennell is the Executive Dean of Leeds University Business School. Prior to joining Leeds she has held a number of leadership roles including Director of Centre of Operational Research, Management Science and Information Systems, Head of the Department of Decision Analytics and Risk Research and Deputy Head of School all at the University of Southampton. She is a Prof of Operational Research and continues to be an active researcher in optimisation and decision-making.

Prof Noel-Ann Bradshaw
Head of School of Computing and Digital Media, London Metropolitan University

Noel-Ann is currently a member of the Senior Management Team at London Metropolitan University. Prior to this she worked at the University of Greenwich in several roles including lecturer in mathematics and operational research, Admissions and New Arrivals Coordinator and Faculty Director of Employability.  After a brief spell in industry as a Data Scientist at Sainsbury's Argos she took on the role of Head of School at London Metropolitan University in November 2019.

Leila Seith Hassan
Head of Data Science and Analytics, Digitas

Leila has worked in Australia, America, Europe and now the UK. In her current role, Leila’s responsible for driving connected experiences powered by analytics and data science. To do this, her team combines tried and tested methods such as statistics, web, social and media analytics, data visualisation and data strategy with new techniques made possible with enhanced technology such as Machine and Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing.

Hiroko Plant
Lead Analyst, Land Registry

Hiroko has been providing decision support to policy-makers and leading analytical teams for over twenty years; highlights include:

  • Modelling the impacts of road user charging;
  • Managing immigration queues;
  • Bringing cutting-edge OR to counter-terrorism; and
  • Quality-assuring analysis for EU Exit.

Hiroko is currently working to set up a new analytical function for HM Land Registry.

Frances O'Brien 
University of Warwick

Frances O’Brien is an Associate Professor in OR and Management Science at Warwick Business School.  She teaches modelling, analytics and supporting strategy development to a variety of student groups. Her research interests include the development and use of tools to support strategy development, in particular scenario planning. She currently chairs the Women in OR & Analytics Network (WORAN) and the OR and Strategy Special Interest Group for the OR Society.

Prof Sally Brailsford
Professor of Management Science and Associate Dean, University of Southampton 

Sally is Professor of Management Science and Associate Dean (Research & Enterprise) in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Southampton. Her early career included Russian translation and working as a nurse in the NHS, but she has worked in academia since the late 1980s.  In 2016 she was made a Companion of OR by the UK OR Society in recognition of her contribution to health OR.

Paula Carroll
University College Dublin and

Paula is an Assistant Professor in OR and Business Analytics at the School of Business, University College Dublin, Ireland. She lectures in data analysis, mathematical modelling and optimisation techniques. Her research focuses modelling and solving optimisation problems that arise in integrating  energy systems to achieve climate mitigation actions. She chairs the EURO WISDOM Forum.


Frances O’Brien, Warwick Business School, Chair of Women in OR and Analytics

Paula Carroll, University College Dublin, Chair of EURO WISDOM Forum

Annunziata Esposito Amadeo, UCD, Secretary of WORAN

Antuela Anthi Tako, University of Loughborough

Ruth Kaufman, Independent

Join the WORAN network

The Women in OR & Analytics Network is a newly-established network for female OR practitioners and academics. We need your voice, your knowledge and your experience in this group. Help us to build a strong, self-supporting network and to set better conditions for the next cohort of young women launching into their careers in OR and analytics.

Join here