3Is Leads the way with the University’s first Departmental Athena Swan Award

Posted by mjs76 at Jun 01, 2012 03:32 PM |
Congratulations to the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation for achieving the first Departmental Athena Swan award for the University. The Department were presented with the Bronze Athena Swan Award at the National Athena Swan Award Ceremony held in Birmingham earlier in May.

The achievement of this award was all the more impressive given the Department had only commenced work on the submission some six months before the submission deadline.  In that time a very considerable amount of data collection and analysis was required together with the need to fully understand why women are underrepresented in the sciences generally but also within the context of their own Department and discipline. They also had to come up with a credible action plan on how to address the ‘leaky pipeline’ (progressive loss of women as one goes up the career ladder). Predictably the issues are complex and heavily entrenched in the prevailing culture of the workplace. Departments in other institutions have typically taken years to prepare for a submission.

The award would not have been achieved without there already being a bedrock of good practice and a culture within the Department that allowed critical self-examination and a willingness to challenge conventional thinking and practice. Added to which was a great team effort led in a highly disciplined way by Dr Shaun Heaphy and supported by Dr Rebecca Draper who provided much needed data , analysis and interpretive input.  The whole team applied their creativity and experiences to what was a very successful first for the University and have immediately turned their attention to converting this into a silver award at the earliest opportunity.

The full team were:

  • Peter W Andrew (Head of Department)
  • Hannah M Brewin
  • Martha Clokie
  • Rebecca Draper
  • Shaun Heaphy
  • Jessica Loraine
  • Hitesh Pandya
  • Izabella ZA Pawluczyk

At the same Awards Ceremony the University successfully renewed its institutional bronze award and picked up lots of examples of good practice to help in our quest for an institutional silver award.

The Athena Swan Charter is a national award scheme. It recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. The scheme and its members set out to develop good practice leading to better gender equality. Through this the University aims to improve the representation of women in science particularly at a senior level.

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