Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the diversity of all staff in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and aims to address gender, race and sexual orientation inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of certain groups in senior roles.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

BBC Radio 4 - Inside Science, Thursday 29 May

Women of science
London's Royal Society was buzzing last week as historians and scientists chewed over the lives of iconic women scientists. But at a time when far more women go into science, the percentage who make it to professor is still alarmingly low compared to men. Last week's Revealing Lives event by The Royal Society was also about learning lessons from history which are of benefit to women working in science today.

Read about the Revealing Lives event here.

Available until 5th June here.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Aurora Programme 2014/15

Female members of staff are once again invited to apply for the Aurora Programme 2014/15, run by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

The programme is run by women for women and draws on successful women from higher education and other sectors as speakers and role models, to share their experiences and knowledge about the world of work and career development.

Ten of our female members of staff took part in the 2013/14 programme and had this to say about their experience:

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed the programme and have very much appreciated meeting new people (Portsmouth crowd included) and hearing from the guest speakers, it’s been a really good experience for me.’

‘I am so glad I applied for and was accepted on to the Aurora programme, it has been a wonderful experience and has given me the chance to meet some amazing women who work in universities across the country. I have been inspired by the stories I have heard and it has given me a new found confidence, it really has been a worthwhile exercise.’

You can view more comments or speak to the previous participants at

Aurora is for women in roles up to grade nine in academic or professional services, ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as one option for progression. The University is funding ten places on the 2014/15 programme, and welcomes expressions of interest from areas where there is under-representation of women at a senior level. Applications from academic staff at grade eight are particularly encouraged. The programme has been organised regionally and we are encouraging participants where possible to attend the London or Cardiff cohorts.

If you are interested in applying for this programme, please visit

Nominations should be made by your Dean of Faculty or Head of Professional Service, so please speak to them. Your completed application form should be sent to Jeannette May, Deputy Director of Human Resources by 22 June 2014.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

WISE campaign (was UKRC)

Promoting female talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from classroom to boardroom 

WISE helps organisations to inspire women and girls to pursue STEM subjects as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers. Our mission is to push the presence of female employees from 13% to 30% by 2020, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.

Links to resources, training, funding and more covering all education and career stages. 

More info here.

The Every Researcher Counts project (Vitae)

An introduction to the Every Researcher Counts project.

In the UK only 20% of professors are female and 0.4% are black. The proportion of female academics earning over £50,000 is around half that for males and black and minority ethnic academics are considerably less likely to earn over £50,000. Providing equality of opportunity for all researchers is crucial to attracting and retaining the most talented researchers and achieving research excellence.

Read more here (free UK login required).

In the news

'Calling teachers Sir and Miss 'depressing and sexist'' - BBC News, 14 May 2014

Calling teachers "Sir" or "Miss" is depressing, sexist and gives women in schools a lower status than their male counterparts, an academic has said.

Read more here.

In the news

'Labs Are Told to Start Including a Neglected Variable: Females' - NY Times, 14 May 2014

Sunday, 11 May 2014

In the news

'Professors Are Prejudiced, Too' - NY Times Sunday Review, 9 May 2014


IN the world of higher education, we professors like to believe that we are free from the racial and gender biases that afflict so many other people in society. But is this self-conception accurate?

Read the full story here.