Hillary Clinton said that working to achieve gender equality isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do, too. I agree and I want to do something about it. We are looking honestly at the barriers which stop people reaching their full potential– more commonly women than men. We need more women in senior positions but I don’t want to stop there. I also want to see women working at every level - why shouldn’t the leadership of University have the same demographics as the early career stages or student ratios? The Equality Act defines all the protected characteristics, which often interconnect and cannot be examined separately. By considering all of these factors we can reflect on how we work and treat others and create an equal environment for all.
Professor Mark Goodwin BSc PhD, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Affairs)
Professor Manuela Barreto
I am Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology. I am fully committed to gender equality for both professional and personal reasons. My research focuses on how prejudice and discrimination are expressed, experienced, perpetuated, and resisted. I focus on uncovering subtle forms of prejudice and discrimination, with a particular (but not exclusive) focus on gender. On a more personal note, I am often approached by younger female academics for mentoring and advice, which has increased my awareness of the difficulties faced by women in academia. I also have two daughters who think that everything is possible, and am motivated to contribute to bringing that closer to reality.
Professor Manuela Barreto Professor Social and Organisational Psychology.
Dr Joanna Bowtell
I am committed to the work of Athena SWAN as I strongly believe that everyone irrespective of gender, ethnicity, disability and sexuality should be able to access equivalent opportunities. I have studied and worked in the field of Sports and Exercise Science for 25 years, and whilst we are increasingly achieving gender balance at undergraduate, postgraduate, and early career stages, there is still a large gender disparity at more senior levels both in academia and in industry. Athena SWAN provides an opportunity to interrogate the data, better understand the issues and create and embed solutions to improve the working environment for all.
Dr Joanna Bowtell Associate Professor/Deputy Head of Discipline Sport and Health Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences.
Dr Helen Butler
I represent Research Services on the University Level Athena SWAN Working Group. Research Services provides professional support for researchers in areas such as seeking funding, developing bids, working with businesses, commercialisation activities, project management and event organisation. My role is to ensure that all Research Services staff are aware of the University’s commitment to equality and demonstrate best practice in this area. Research Services are committed to supporting the Colleges in addressing gender imbalances, for example by providing applications and awards data by gender, looking at the timing of our events and providing support for proposal-writing for all our research staff on an equal basis. Dr Helen Butler, Bridging the Gaps Project Manager and Research Development Manager (NERC), Research Services
I oversee the equality and diversity issues relating to both staff and students at the University and I am committed to all aspects of equality. As a new mother who has moved from full-time to part-time working, I have personal experience of balancing work and family commitments. Mrs Dorcas Cowan, Equality and Diversity Manager, Human Resources
Professor Ken Evans
As Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences I am very aware that we are not yet managing to encourage enough women to enter and stay in many areas of science and engineering. Higher education is an area that needs to lead on this issue, not only for its own sake but also for the benefit of other areas of society. Whilst there has been some improvement, in recent years, in student admissions and recruitment to lectureships there is still a very large imbalance at the senior end of the profession. Having been a part of the team that led to the University’s successful Bronze submission I am now actively engaged in supporting departments in progressing towards Silver. Professor Ken Evans, Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Professor Lora Fleming
I am a board certified occupational and environmental health physician and epidemiologist with over two decades of experience and expertise in environment and occupational exposures and human health. I am Director of the European Centre of Environment and Human Health and as Director at the European Centre, I work in the areas of the Oceans and Human Health, and of Healthy Workplaces. As a senior woman academic, I have been involved in health disparities (deprivation) research for over two decades in worker and other socially deprived populations; and I have spent much of my career mentoring students from diverse race-ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds in the sciences. Professor Lora Fleming, Professor and Director European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School
Professor Stuart Bearhop
I am Professor of Animal Ecology/Director of Education, and the new Athena SWAN champion for CLES Cornwall. As a parent with primary school kids I am acutely aware of the work /life balance issues of an academic career. In common with the rest of our department I think that identifying and removing the barriers to progression for women in science is one of the most important challenges that we face. The launch of Athena Swan within CLES Cornwall has been a singularly positive initiative and it has been hugely encouraging to see the changes in behaviour and thinking of all of our staff in response. I am very proud to have been appointed as Athena Swan champion and to be able to play a role in the next phase of our plans.
Professor Stuart Bearhop
Having worked for the last twenty five years in areas traditionally under-represented with women, it has developed my commitment to making changes to support women to address the balance. I was very grateful for the flexibility I was offered when I had my two children which allowed me to continue my career and have a good work-life balance, something I hope could be made available to everyone. I am convinced that with a determined approach, measures can be put in place which can be impactful and ensure that science departments of the future can draw on and retain the very best talent regardless of gender. Having worked on the University's bronze submission, I am looking forward to supporting our departments to progress towards silver status. Mrs Linda Peka, College Manager, College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Dr Sharon Strawbridge
I am involved in the University’s Athena SWAN process because I have a very strong belief that there are still unintentional gender barriers in the sciences in general and very often these are not recognised. To me, it is of great importance that we have an inclusive culture within the University that benefits everyone, staff and students alike, encouraging us all to know that we can succeed on merit alone and won’t encounter any barriers to success. I was supported to continue in a scientific career through a part-time Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship hosted by Physics some years ago, so I know how important this culture is to success. I want to know that I work in a University that values, respects and practices inclusivity. Dr Sharon Strawbridge, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Medical Imaging, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Professor Nina Wedell
I am a Professor of Evolutionary Biology and a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award holder. I have experience of gender issues from working with various learned societies in the UK and abroad, including being a member of the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award committee. My involvement in the Athena SWAN Charter is to address the issues of how to attract talented female academics in STEM/M subjects and to ensure a fairer career progression for women. I have personal experience of being brought up a Swede and juggling being a mum and an academic. Professor Nina Wedell, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Professor Steve Eichhorn
I am Chair of the Engineering Athena SWAN working group and am currently Head of Engineering at Exeter. I have had over 20 years of experience in academia, both as a postdoctoral researcher and now a Professor and Head in a very diverse department. I have a passion and commitment to drive change in Engineering to get a better gender balance at all levels – undergraduate through to the research and teaching staff.
Professor Steve Eichhorn
Professor Bill Barnes
As Head of Physics and Astronomy, looking after the people involved, and especially trying to ensure that they are all treated fairly, is very important to me. The Athena SWAN initiative provides a useful way to help us achieve this. The recent award of Juno practitioner status by the Institute of Physics has provided a good starting point. One of the many initiatives underway is that of an early career network. We want to use this network to help those starting their careers to understand what is need for success, as well as to better establish in the minds of decision makers the challenges that these people face.
Professor Bill Barnes, Head of Physics and Astronomy, Professor of Photonics.
Professor Mark Baldwin
As the Head of Mathematics and Computer Science and Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Athena SWAN group I am extremely pleased that our Department has won an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. The Department’s mission is to maintain world-class teaching and research whilst working to achieve a world-class working environment. Our commitment to gender equality and the Charter underpins that mission.
Professor Mark Baldwin
Professor Peter Challenor
I am an environmental statistician particularly interested in uncertainty in complex systems such as the climate. I have always believed that fairness is important and fair processes benefit both women and men. Schemes such Athena Swan and the London Mathematical Society's 'Good Practice Scheme’ guide us to produce a better, fairer working environment for everyone. These good practices need to permeate all our systems including both students and staff.
Professor Peter Challenor, Mathematics.
Dr Safi Darden
I was first introduced to the Athena SWAN initiative in 2011 when I was appointed Equality and Diversity Officer for psychology. I immediately found that the principles and guidelines of the Athena SWAN charter highlighted key concerns that I had first heard voiced at the very start of my career by my first academic mentor. Following her example I have strived to work towards a fairer working environment in any way that I can. I have embraced the charter as an opportunity to make some real changes to workplace culture.
Dr Safi Darden, Lecturer
Dr Robert Wilson
I am Chair of the Biosciences Athena SWAN Working Group, and am committed to the Charter for both professional and personal reasons. As a Senior Lecturer I am highly conscious of my role as a mentor to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and to early career academics. As the parent of young children and the partner of an aspiring scientist, I am also acutely aware of the need to celebrate positive female role models in science, and to increase the equality of opportunity in Higher Education and Research. I welcome Athena SWAN as a means to improve practice and inclusivity in the workplace for everyone.