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.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

SEES Female Staff Coffee meeting

Please, come and meet Thursday, 23rd November, 10:00-11:00 am at the Hub for our first Athena Swan Female Staff’s coffee morning.

Annette Goetz
Athena Swan Female Student Focus Group
Notes and Actions

Student Representatives: Katherine Tuley, Rosina Rennie, Ebony Acheampong, Marta Docal Morales, Rebecca Birch.    

SEES Athena Swan Committee members: David Franklin; Jim Smith

The group discussed differences in gender in Geo/Env Sciences at all stages from school to academic and non-academic careers. The students present didn’t report any obvious gender bias within the department. However, it was noted that the majority of teaching staff were white male. This led to a lack of ethnic diversity in teaching staff and, in some subjects, the teaching staff were almost exclusively male. It was noted that Environmental Science staff have an approximately 50/50 male to female ratio, whereas in the geological sciences there were fewer women. On the Masters courses, teaching is almost exclusively by male staff. It was suggested that it would be helpful to have more external female and ethnic minority speakers aimed at career paths. It was noted that the SEES Seminar Series had a good gender balance.

Gender specific tutorials had been suggested as a potential way to support female undergraduates and postgraduates. This was discussed: the group was unanimous that this was not necessary.

Fieldwork was discussed; some students reported no issues, but others felt that there could be better preparation for fieldwork, particularly in terms of preparing students for what to expect, and what would be expected of them, on field courses.

A Women in Geo/Environmental science event was discussed; this was felt to be useful if focussed on career opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students. To improve female participation in geo/environmental sciences, it was felt that efforts should be aimed at schools, particularly in the 11-14 age group before GCSE/A level choices had been made. The Student Ambassador scheme was discussed and it was felt that information/encouragement should be given to students in SEES to participate.

The international student experience at UoP was discussed: this was felt to be positive.

Women in Geo/Env Science event focussed on careers/employability – this is being pursued by the SEES Athena Swan committee together with Geography.

Raise awareness of the Student Ambassador scheme within SEES

Improved preparation for fieldwork. This issue will also be addressed in a joint study of diversity issues in fieldwork with Geography.

Ongoing aim to improve diversity of lecturing staff.

Monday, 6 November 2017

HE STEM Equality and Diversity - the Impact of the TEF and REF

HE STEM Equality and Diversity - the Impact of the TEF and REF
·         What are the implications for not engaging?

A SEPnet Workshop - Monday 4 December 2017, Queen Mary University of London

SEPnet is organising a one-day workshop to share good practice in addressing barriers to female progression in STEM and supporting under-represented groups with particular focus on the impact of the REF and TEF.
Successful REF and TEF submissions will increasingly depend on HEIs demonstrating evidence of robust diversity policies and practices. Presenters will provide an overview of progress to date highlighting examples of successful initiatives. Short case studies will be followed by group discussion to understand what key actions HE staff, responsible for diversity, can take to bring about real change. 

Programme and speakers:
·         Gender equality in an academic department - lessons learnt - Paul Walton, University of York

·         Widening Participation, the TEF and REF – recruitment and marketing - Averil Macdonald, Diversity Lead, SEPnet

·         Learning gain, attainment gaps and student diversity - Sally Jordan, Open University

·         Contracts, work allocation and the long hours’ culture - Peter Main, Kings College London

·         Athena SWAN and Project Juno Applications - top tips and pitfalls - Tracey Berry, Royal Holloway University of London

·         TEF/REF - what are the risks of not engaging? – panel discussion

This event is aimed at HE STEM staff responsible for diversity and inclusion including Athena SWAN, Project Juno and diversity champions, HR managers and academics. 

Refreshments will be provided. The workshop is FREE to attend, places are limited.  Contact to book your place.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Alice Roberts: ‘Science needs more visible women’

Physical anthropologist, author, broadcaster and professor of public engagement in science, Alice Roberts is a 21st-century Renaissance woman. Her face might be most familiar from Channel 4’s Time Team, or BBC2’s Coast, or one of several Horizon programmes she has presented; but she is also a qualified medical doctor, an anatomist and the author of seven popular science books, including the Wellcome prize-nominated The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being.

Professor Alice Roberts pictured in her home city of Bristol.
Professor Alice Roberts. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt for the Guardian

Alice Roberts is on a mission to prove that science needs to engage with the public – and be more diverse.
Read more here: