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Athena SWAN

Marita Walsh, Jane Clarke and Nick Bampos, who were instrumental in developing the Athena SWAN programme in the department

 

SILVER ACHIEVED APRIL 2016!

 

  • Athena SWAN is a national scheme to support and advance women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (known as the STEMM subjects).  
  • Athena SWAN grants bronze, silver and gold awards to organisations who can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM.
  • The Department of Chemistry received the Athena SWAN silver award in April 2016 and will continue to work toward promoting gender equality. 

See our Silver submission case studies about the experiences of Professor Melinda Duer and Dr Deborah Longbottom in the department.

See the results of our Graduate Survey.

"We want to provide a supportive environment where all students and staff feel able to succeed."

Here are just a few of our goals:

  • Improve the proportion of women Undergraduate and Post Graduate Students.  
  • Introduce a mentoring system for research staff.  
  • Support flexible working hours and arrangements; ask groups to schedule meetings in core hours;  tackle any culture of excessive hours.  
  • Ensure women's representation in Departmental decision-making.
  • Increase the number of women applying for academic positions:   have credible female candidates on all shortlists, and identify and encourage suitable candidates from within the Department and externally to apply for vacancies.  
  • Monitor PhD to Post-Doc and Post-Doc to research transitions and use the exit data to identify how to recruit more female Junior Research Fellows.  
  • Ensure staff promotion and recruitment processes are fair and transparent.  
  • Improve support provided to staff starting or with an existing family, and those with additional caring responsibilities 
  • Gather intelligence on why more women than men leave the Department to take up non-academic roles.  

Contact us:  athena.swan@ch.cam.ac.uk

A message from Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager 

As a member of the Department of Chemistry’s Athena SWAN committee, I fully support its aims to improve the recruitment, retention and progression of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (the STEMM departments).

We now identify and encourage suitable candidates from within the Department and externally to apply for vacancies, with the goal of having credible female candidates on all shortlists. 

We ensure all staff who are involved in recruitment and interviews have Equality & Diversity training, and we’ve also introduced exit questionnaires to enable us to identify why researchers leave. 

We have developed and improved our flexible working scheme to improve the support we give to staff with families and/or caring responsibilities, and we strongly encourage all groups and committees to schedule meetings and talks during core hours to provide for a better work/life balance for everybody.

More and more members of our Department are receptive to and engaged in this process, because they can see how these positive results are making the entire Department an even better place to do some of the best research in the world. 

 Above:  Graduate student Rosemary Freer in the Vendruscolo Group (left) talks with Support Services Manager Marita Walsh.