Athena SWAN

What is Athena SWAN?

Athena SWAN is a joint initiative that evolved from the Athena Project and the Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). Further information on the initiative can be found here.

The Athena SWAN program helps the School of Biological Sciences to identify best practices for the working environment of all staff, not just for women, working science disciplines.  We are working together, across the School, to ensure we have a fair and stimulating working environment.  In particular, we are striving to address the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics.

These pages contain a wealth of information, please scroll down for useful links and resources.

 

Who is on the Athena SWAN committee?

Committee membership 2017/18:

Dr Jon Bridle (Chair)
Dr Sinead English (Deputy Chair)
Mrs Corrie Sadler (SEA)
Mr James Chen
Mr Anthony Crawford
Mr Dan Fagan
Professor Claire Grierson
Dr Talya Hackett
Mr Will Hurley
Dr Jill Harrison
Professor Jane Memmott
Mr Tom Pitman
Miss Beth Eldridge

 

Athena SWAN Submissions and Surveys

What is Athena Swan (pdf),  Terms of reference (pdf)

In April 2015, the School of Biological Sciences was awarded Athena SWAN Bronze status.

The School of Biological Sciences is in the process of preparing for a Silver Award. The reasons we are applying for this are:

1. This award is a public statement of our commitment to equality and a positive working environment. It sends a message to potential students/postdocs/fellows/staff that this is a positive, fair place to work. This is important especially for attracting independently funded postdoctoral research fellows.

2. The process of putting the application together allows us, as a community, to identify ways in which we can improve our working environment, culture and how we support our staff, students and postdocs through their careers.

What actions are we taking?

Response of the Athena SWAN committee to the 2016 Staff Survey (PDF, 335kB)

The Staff Survey (and responses), full Athena SWAN action plan and feedback form for your comments/ suggestions is available on our staff intranet

 

Supporting women in science

The School of Biological Sciences is committed to good employment practices and a supportive working environment for all staff.

In particular, we are striving to address the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics. Over 60% of our undergraduates and postgraduates are women - our mission is to ensure these young women enjoy a nurturing and supportive environment during their time with us and give them every encouragement and opportunity to pursue a career in science.

We are working together, across the School, to ensure we have a fair and stimulating working environment that will benefit both men and women. We continuously review our working practices to ensure that all staff and students are well supported in their work and study.

 

Athena SWAN Blogs

The School of Biological Sciences Athena SWAN team has created some fantastic blogs talking about their lives in science, and their experiences of integrating their personal and caring responsibilities with their career paths.

We hope that these reflections on the challenges and rewards of working in science will be helpful to others as we work together to make our working environment as inclusive as possible to all.

More blogs from members of staff from The School of Biological Sciences will be added over the next year.

Read all of our Athena SWAN Blogs (PDF, 1,261kB) here.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Athena SWAN blogs so far. 

 

The School of Biological Sciences champions equality and diversity – together they are key components of our approach to excellence in research and teaching.

Dr Keara Franklin, Reader, Plant Environmental Signalling

The School of Biological Sciences champions equality and diversity – together they are key components of our approach to excellence in research and teaching.

Professor Jane Memmott, Professor of Ecology & Research Fellow in Biological Sciences

Positioning ourselves as world-leading researchers and teachers invariably creates demands for everyone in the school; a supportive environment is therefore a key part of our culture. One of the many ways we ensure that is by enabling both women and men to have a good work-life balance, which respects their personal responsibilities as well as their professional aspirations.

Professor Tim Gallagher, Dean of the Faculty of Science
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