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.

Friday, 30 January 2015

L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellowships - opening Feb. 2015

These annual fellowships provide a year's worth of research funding to 'recognise the achievements of exceptional female scientists across the globe.' For those in the UK and Ireland, the 2015 application process will open in early February, with a deadline in March. For more details, click here.

From their website:
The L'Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science were launched in January 2007. The Fellowships are awards offered by a partnership between L'Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society. From 2015, Five Fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. Each worth £15,000 (equivalent € for candidates in Ireland), the Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university / research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of the life, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering. 
The Fellowships have been designed to provide practical help for the winners to undertake research in their chosen fields. For example, winners may choose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment, paying for child care costs, travel costs or indeed whatever they may need to continue their research. 
Another important part of the Fellowship programme is the support, training and networking opportunities that it provides. Fellows make valuable friendships and connections that can lead to interesting collaborations, publications and wider appreciation of their work.

Athena SWAN conference provisional schedule posted

University of Portsmouth's Athena SWAN Conference

Wednesday March 4th 2015
13.30 - 16.30
Eldon LT1.11
Time Speaker Title
1.30 - 1.45 Professor Graham Galbraith Welcome address
  Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth  
1.45 - 2.30 Jane Duncan 'Women in Architecture and Construction'
  President Elect of the  
  Royal Institute of British Architects  
2.30 - 3.15 Andrew Miller 'How Universities Can Best Improve
  Chair of the Parliamentary Career Progression for Women'
  Science and Technology Select Committee  
3.13 - 3.25 Jane Duncan and Andrew Miller Q & A
3.25 - 3.45 Tea break  
3.45 - 4.15 Fiona Bell 'Leading in Estates Management'
  Director of Estates and Campus Services,  
  University of Portsmouth  
4.15 - 4.30 Professor Catherine Harper 'Athena SWAN at UoP: An Update'
  Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries,  
  University of Portsmouth's Athena SWAN Sponsor  

University of Portsmouth's Athena SWAN Conference

Dear all,
Please note that the University of Portsmouth's Athena SWAN Conference on Wednesday 4th March can now be booked through Eventbrite and has been advertised on Staff Essentials.
Book here:

Friday, 23 January 2015

In the news - 'Science doesn't have a gender'

There is a tendency, when interviewing female scientists, to emphasise the 'female' rather than the 'scientist' - as if women doing science were such a strange idea, that you have to emphasise the strangeness (and that one woman somehow speaks for all womankind, because we're all the same!). So it is good to see two women emphasising the science this week. The first is by Dr Céline Delloye-Bourgeois, a 2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship holder, who talks about her research and her career advice at The second is by Athene Donald, who ponders 'Am I a Lady?' in her weekly blog post - to which the resounding answer is the same as Dr Delloye-Bourgeois: Science doesn't have a gender.

Women in Physics Day

Women in Physics Day
9th March 2015 at the  University of Portsmouth
10:00-17:00 room 4.09 and 4.08. 

Lunch will be provided and reasonable travel expenses will be covered by SEPnet.  30 places maximum and no restrictions on numbers from each institution.

Women are underrepresented in physics in general; therefore, it is of particular importance to foster the development of our aspiring women researchers for their own benefit and to act as role models for others.  This workshops will explore the particular challenges that face women scientists as they progress in academia and in other sectors.  This day will be interactive and draw on the experiences and concerns of participants and will seek to build a community of support for women physicist across SEPnet institutions.  Contributing to the day will be women academics who are willing to share their personal perspectives on thriving in their chosen careers. For further information please log onto the VRE:

To register please visit: Eventbrite Women in Physics   (Registration Deadline: 15th February 2015)

Friday, 16 January 2015

Unconscious Bias Talk in ICG

It is our pleasure the anounce that we have an ICG lunchtime talk next Tuesday from Averil Macdonald on Unconscious Bias.
Time: 12-1pm
Location: DS2.08.
Please attend this talk if you can, especially the SEES Athena Swan committee members.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

On the radio - employment rates after uni

Spotted by Carmen - a piece on Radio 4 Women's Hour about the different rates of employment in graduate level jobs after uni for men and women. It starts about 7.30 minutes in.

Listen here.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Women's forum - 15 Jan, 2-3pm, the Hub

Many thanks to those who responded to the Doodle poll. As quite a few slots were ticked as possibilities, including the current time, it seems most sensible to leave things alone. In which case, I look forward to seeing all who can make it tomorrow (15 Jan), 2-3 pm in the Hub (we may have the first draft of the award application available for discussion, but if not the usual chat is perfectly fine as well).

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

In the news - unconscious bias

Two articles doing the rounds today, from different angles of unconscious bias. The first, from the NY Times, looks at 'speaking while female' - that all-too-familiar situation where women with equally good ideas are talked over, ignored or considered too 'aggressive' by their male colleagues. They report on several studies that have identified ways around the problem, but it requires action from those in leadership positions as well as those on the ground to implement.

The other, in Forbes, looks at the effect quotas can have on overcoming hiring biases. Quotas are a touchy subject, as discussed here, but implemented carefully they may provide the activation energy required to move things along. Interestingly, different policies have been applied across Europe, from voluntary efforts to strict legislation - almost all of which have resulted in higher percentages of women on company boards than the US or Japan, where no such controls are in place. Quotas, like any other tactic, will never be a complete panacea, but certainly one to consider.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

New year, new timing for the Women's Staff Forum

Welcome back to the new year! With a new term comes new adventures with the timetable, so I have set up a Doodle poll to check what time/day suits people to continue our weekly women's forum. We currently meet 2-3pm on Thursdays in the Hub, but whether or not that suits you, be sure to add your name to the list!

In the news - We’ve Come a Long Way But…

Athene Donald's weekly blog, hosted by Occam's Typewriter, regularly touches on life as a female academic (she's a professor of physics at Cambridge). But she has also been heavily involved in the development of the Athena SWAN charter, including chairing the committee which oversees them. This week's entry looks back over 16 years of championing women in academia through the Athena process, and ponders what comes next as the scheme is expanded beyond STEM subjects.

When it comes to women in science, the Athena Swan ‘brand’ is well established. By now, universities up and down the country are signed up to the Athena Swan Charter and many departments are seriously engaged with the process. Nevertheless there are still many that are not, and even of those that apparently are there is the danger that some see it as no more than a tick-box exercise in order to get the necessary seal of approval. Now the Athena Swan process is being expanded to other disciplines we have to hope that the good work that the awards have engendered is not diluted or weakened by trying to create a ‘one size fits all’ process which ends up not addressing the fundamental issues in different disciplines.

Read more here.