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.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

SAT Committee Actions and Notes

Athena Swan SAT meeting 16.10.17: Notes and Actions
ALL (esp. Jim) – Take more care with our email address lists so people don’t get missed off emails
Annette Götz – Arrange female staff coffee morning
Jim Smith – Promote equality and Diversity training: link this to PDRs to encourage uptake. Include all staff plus PhD students.
Michelle Hale/Jim Smith – All staff focus group; half an hour at start of next academic staff meeting; all staff to be invited for session.
Sarah Reynolds – with Rob Inkpen, organise Women in Geo/Env/Geog Sci Event.
Jim Smith – obtain data on success rates for internal promotions
Melvin Vopson – Update blog to better reflect new Athena Swan agenda. Check if automatic emails can be sent to followers when blog is updated. If not, Jim to email all staff with regular updates/items of interest.
David Franklin – Arrange female undergrad focus group.
Jim Smith – Continue work on actions and feedback from last application and review at next SAT meeting best timing for next application.
Jim Smith – Need an undergrad and PhD student on the SAT committee; will discuss at undergrad focus group and send email to PhD students (Orla is finishing soon).
Jim Smith – Invite Lesley Lee (Equality and Diversity Adviser) to present at next SAT meeting.
Female focus group meeting was discussed – this was successful; thanks to Carmen for organising. Actions completed or included above.
Staff Gender/culture survey was discussed – SEES not bad, but could definitely do better. Address this by raising awareness of Athena Swan issues, Equality and Diversity training and addressing gender/culture issues as they arise.
Equality and Diversity Training was discussed. Aim to have all SEES staff having taken the training by Christmas.
Women in Geo/Env/Geol Sci Event – agreed that this was a good idea; thanks to Sarah for volunteering to work with Rob Inkpen on this.
Application for Bronze award – need to show evidence that dept. culture is changing for next application. DF suggested we wait until University renewal application is complete before re-applying; so next application would be Nov 18 or April 19.

Female undergrad focus group – thanks to David Franklin for organising. Any SAT members welcome to attend (pm 1st Nov).

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Solutions to improve workplace culture

Research Associate at Murray Edwards College working on gender equality in careers, University of Cambridge, discusses various ways of improving workplace culture. 

Just talk – A first step would bring teams together in a facilitated, neutral meeting where evidence on workplace culture can be aired and women can describe issues they think they experience because of their gender. Teams can then discuss solutions with the help of the ideas that came from this research.

Making visible how things get done in practice – Power audits are needed by mixed gender teams after a project is finished to make visible how and where decisions were made. This will improve how gender diverse teams work together.

Building close relationships – A key insight from the research stresses the importance of extending mixed gender networks to make it more likely that a woman comes to mind when an opportunity arises. This might include networking with a social agenda: you might have “Walkabout Wednesdays” when everyone is expected to have coffee with someone new. Networking can also happen as a by-product of something useful: for example, “Take Two” buddy ups when you need cover for two hours while you do something outside work. Or it can be directly related to work, perhaps mixed-gender mentoring to share skills and perspectives on a project.

Bystanders amplify – Not having their comments and ideas heard in meetings is one of women’s biggest complaints. Men can help by amplifying a woman’s contribution when they notice it has not been heard; repeating their colleague’s idea and giving her credit.

Actions from leaders - Individual actions need to be authorised by leaders taking a clear stance. Male role models are needed to transform workplace culture – yet the men who take on this role often face backlash. Leaders can help by rewarding and supporting men who make changes to support gender parity.

Read full article here: 

Monday, 9 October 2017

SEES Athena Swan SAT Committee Meeting

The next SEES Athena Swan Committee Meeting will be on Monday 16th October at 16:00 in The Hub. All SEES staff are welcome to come along or suggest an agenda item - please let Jim know if you wish to do so.