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.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

In the news

A Mother’s Ambitions - NY Times, 31 July 2014
BY: Yael Chatav Schonbrun

If I’m lucky, I might have as long as two hours to work. I riffle through the stack of research articles on substance use, pull out a few relevant ones, and begin revising my paper’s introduction. I’ve just gotten in the groove when a sweet singsong voice drifts over from the room next door: “Mommy, I have to go to the baaaa-throom!”  

Read more here.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Women in Science - UNESCO

From the Geological Society of London newsletter, 15 July 2014:

Just 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. For example, in Bolivia, women account for 63% researchers, compared to France with a rate of 26% or Ethiopia at 8%. 

Women in Science, a new interactive tool, presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. Produced by the Unesco Institute for Statistics, the tool lets you explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work.

See the tool here.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

In the news

'Stop trying to make girls take science': It goes against their human nature, claims psychologist - Daily Mail, 12 July 2014
BY: Laura Clark 

Attempts to encourage more girls to study the sciences ‘completely deny human biology and nature’, an academic has claimed. Schools should stop trying to close education gender gaps because innate differences between the sexes mean they will always be drawn to certain subjects and careers, according to a Glasgow University psychologist.

Read more here.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

In the news

Lessons in girl power in Ghana's schools - BBC News, 9 July 2014

There are women walking through Accra's crowded streets performing remarkable balancing acts. They have pyramids of fruit, water bottles and coils of clothing carried in bundles on their head. Their backs are ram-rod straight, their footing certain even in the steaming wet heat of Ghana's rainy season. But there are other bigger balancing acts facing young women in this West African country. How do they stay in education and avoid pressures such as early marriage and leaving school without any of the basic skills needed for work?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

In the news

'Girls can't what?' Bid to boost women in engineering - BBC News, 23 June 2014

"Girls can't what?" is the question posed on the UK's first National Women in Engineering Day. You can be sure the answer from the organisers is not going to be "weld". 

Read more here.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

In the news

Gender: Perception differences - Nature, 2 July 2014

Negative self-bias taints female managers' self-rating, finds study.

Female leaders underrate how their bosses and colleagues perceive their performance, find US researchers (R. E. Sturm et al. J. Org. Behav. 35, 657–677; 2014). In a two-part report examining responses from 270 women across sectors including health services and banking, the authors find that lack of self-confidence, perception of gender roles and a lack of direct feedback from superiors contributed to women's self-underrating. Female managers also rate their own performances lower than do male leaders, the team found. Women in leadership positions must become aware of any negative self-biases, says co-author Leanne Atwater, a management researcher at the University of Houston in Texas. “If you're unsure of your boss's feelings about your work, get feedback and don't make assumptions,” she says.

Original article here.

In the news

Women in science: A temporary liberation - Nature, 2 July 2014
BY: Patricia Fara

The First World War ushered women into laboratories and factories. In Britain, it may have won them the vote, argues Patricia Fara, but not the battle for equality.

In the early twentieth century, female scientists felt beleaguered. It is “as though my work wore petticoats”, cries Ursula, the fictionalized version of distinguished physicist Hertha Ayrton in the 1924 novel The Call. The real-life Ayrton was denied entry to the Royal Society in 1902 because she was married; later she struggled to make the British government's War Office consider her design for a wooden fan to protect soldiers against gas attacks. Pre-war, alongside fellow suffragettes, Ayrton had marched behind banners embroidered with scientific figureheads including Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale, but such protests often aroused contempt rather than support.

Read more here