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Athena SWAN Good Practice Initiatives

With funding from the Wellcome Trust, ECU has been able to identify impactful initiatives from successful Athena SWAN applications, which have had a real impact on gender equality in higher education institutions. ECU is pleased to be able to digitally share/publish these proven initiatives with our subscriber institutions, a resource that we hope institutions will use to find and identify successful initiatives they can transfer to their own context.

Target Group Theme Details of Activity Outcomes Department
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffWork/Life balance Flexible working The School of Life Sciences put an initiative in place to promote an inclusive culture through the support for flexible working conditions, aimed at young families, in particular. This support was put in place to ensure that staff had a good work/life balance and felt able to adapt their working hours around their family life.The submission highlighted examples of staff members who had made use of this initiative, such as a female administrator, whose start time was moved forward by half an hour (from 9.00am to 9.30am), so that she could drop her children off at school. School of Life Sciences (Keele)
Academic StaffRecruitment The department wanted to present itself as more attractive to potential female candidates to increase the number of women at senior level (Clinical and Non-Clinical) applying for advertised positions. The underlying goal was to provide role models to current staff and create a more encouraging environment for women to progress in their careers. A sub-committee was set up to assist in the recruitment of all senior and clinical academic posts by identifying those with the qualifications and skills required, and then approaching these potential female candidates.The sub-committee identified potential female candidates applying for senior positions, resulting in the appointment of a female chair. The department notes that it was succesful in attracting applications from women for senior appointments, resulting in the promotion of seven researchers in 2013. Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic StaffRecruitment The department wanted to improve the way it advertised job vacancies to female applicants, particularly senior level roles. A Director of Training and Engagement role was given to a female researcher to support and encourage the active recruitment of other women. The role entailed actively considering which women in the department had the necessary qualifications, and suggesting these potential female candidates to the Head of Department. The Human Resources team also worked alongside more senior recruitment managers in order to advertise relevant job posts to female specific networking campaigns, such as 'WISE'. The department noted its employment success rates for women (85%) and men (90%), which were higher than the average success rates for women in the Medical Sciences Division. The appointment of a Director of Training and Learning facilitated a gendered balance in appointees through identifying and encouraging women to apply for posts, particularly senior posts, who may have otherwise not considered applying. The School's 2013/2014 recruitment data demonstrated that out of the 541 female and 789 males who applied, equitable shortlisting resulted in the final appointment of 30 women and 27 men. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic staffGender balance PromotionsThe department identified a gender imbalance on its committees and governance panels, and decided to review the representation of female staff. This led to recommendations for demographic changes within these decision making bodies, carried out through the promotion of female staff to academic titles. Female staff eligible for promotion to academic title were actively approached by the review team in order to carry out the recommended changes.By October 2014, NDM had an additional twenty female members of staff who had been promoted to an academic title and therefore matched the criteria to join the thirteen committees that existed. Most notably, the 2014 submission highlighted the nominated appointment of a female professor to the Council of the University, who the department actively campaigned for.Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic staffGender balance The School placed a strong focus on improving women's transparency and visibility on the School's senior committees, such as their Supporting Excellence Equality and Satisfaction for All at Work (SEESAW) committee. Specific actions included reviewing the guidelines for criteria that staff had to meet in order to be eligible to join particular committees, as well as creating guidelines regarding the way the gendered structure of committees should be reported. These actions led to the School's committees more accurately mirroring the gender ratio of academic staff in its department. A revision of the eligibility criteria for membership subsequently led to overall heightened visibility of senior female academic staff, with the submission reporting a ten percent rise over two years (47% in 2011/2012 and 57% in 2014). Norwich Medical School (UEA)
Academic staff Professional and Support StaffWork/Life balancehe department highlighted a number of actions put in place in order to provide accessible information for new staff (all levels) at the university, particularly on work/life balance and caring responsibilities.Information on work/life balance was included in inductions for new staff at the university from April 2013. Staff were made aware that this information was also attainable online, through the inclusion of a link to the university’s 'Living in Oxford' webpage. An improvement in accessibility of information was demonstrated in a staff survey which saw a 16% rise in those who saw the university’s website as a first port of call for information (43% in 2012 and 69% in 2013). Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic Staff PromotionThe department planned to ensure staff were aware of information concerning grade structures and opportunities for career progression. Information on career progression was made available online in order to create easier access for staff, alongside the continued close monitoring of re-grading requests and promotion applications received by HR.As a result of the department’s action plan, staff survey responses displayed a sharp increase in awareness of re-grading structures, rising from 37% in 2012 to 63% in 2013. Additionally, there were no unsuccessful re-grading applications during 2013, and within this same time period, seven female researchers were promoted.Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic staff Professional and Support StaffCareer breaksActions were put in place to ensure staff returning from maternity or paternity leave felt supported during the period of their leave and in their eventual return to work. Regular lunches were set to be held for those returning from leave in order to create a more welcoming and supportive environment, where staff still felt valued during their leave.Two lunches per year (one at Whitechapel and one at Charterhouse Square) took place as of November 2014, where staff were able to discuss any issues concerning returning to work. The submission noted an increased number of staff who claimed child care vouchers as a result, and staff feedback suggested that there was a stronger sense of support felt by staff, particularly with regards to women still feeling valued during their maternity leave.Barts and The London School of Medicine (QMUL)
Undergraduate Students Postgraduate StudentsWork/life balance Accommodating caring responsibilitiesThe School offered easily accessible information on support mechanisms for students who juggled family and/or child care responsibilities alongside their studies. The submission noted a need to further improve student awareness of where such information was located and the accessibility of the way it was presented.Through findings from the MACE Survey (a course evaluation questionnaire), the department found that the majority of students knew where to find relevant information on parent and care support available to them. The specific resources available to students with child care responsibilities were modified and improved for higher student satisfaction, as a result of the feedback.University of Exeter Medical School
Academic staff PromotionIn order to support the career development of departmental staff, the School developed their staff performance review and enhancement process to include a new policy that implemented the rotation of senior administrative roles every five years (eg Programme Director). This was particularly targeted at junior members of staff in order to increase their chances of promotion by developing their professional, organisational and managerial activities (POMA) skillsets needed to meet the School's criteria.At the time of submission in 2014, four out of five programmes had female academic leads, including two junior staff who had previously shadowed, and later replaced, undergraduate programme directors. The School noted that this change in leads was primarily the result of the role rotating policy. School of Life Sciences (Keele)
Academic staff Professional and support staffCultureA redesigned survey was used to assess changes in staff attitudes, with regards to the perception of the department as a workplace and effectiveness of its action plans. The survey was redesigned after its initial conduct in 2012 in order to include additional questions, reduce vagueness of staff answers and gain a greater depth of knowledge on the attitudes of part-time staff members. Every working group within the Department offered ideas on questions that they felt were relevant and should be included in the staff survey; all staff were expected to join a working group and the survey was redesigned according to the suggestions.While the initial survey had a response rate of 42%, the redesigned survey saw an increased response rate of 65% as staff now felt involved in the design process of the survey. This included a greater gender balance in respondents (2012: 64% female, 29% male / 2013: 58% female, 42% male). The redesigned survey noted a positive cultural shift among staff, for example 83% of staff felt that individuals were treated fairly regardless of gender, displaying a 9% increase compared to the year before.Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic staff Professional and support staff RecruitmentThe Diversity Manager published examples of policies, used by other institutions, which offered guidance on gender equality with regards to recruitment. This was done with the aim of gaining ideas for the drafting of their own policy.The department’s policy on gender equality in recruitment was found to have positively accelerated culture change throughout the wider organsiation. Guidance on recruitment bias was widely distributed to all recruitment managers who as a result reported a higher awareness. Barts and The London School of Medicine (QMUL)
Academic staff Professional and support staffCareer developmentAn initiative was put in place to make staff more aware of relevant university policies which could support them during their career. Information and online links to policies were made available on the department's Athena SWAN website, and the School used briefings to discuss and make staff aware of any developments that had occurred in university policies. Feedback obtained from focus groups suggested staff were more aware of where they could access information on departmental and university policies. Results from an ECU commissioned Charter Research Survey supported the focus groups findings, with 63% of all respondents and 75% of female respondents suggesting they had an increased awareness of the policies and where they could access further information about them. University of Exeter Medical School
Academic staffCulture Gender balanceThe School planned to maintain a positive working environment through improving the visibility of underrepresented staff. One initiative was to encourage female staff to participate in The School of Life Sciences "Latest News" report, which started up to showcase staff and student achievements to a wider audience. The initiative showcased the achievements of female staff members. In the initial 2011 'Latest News' report only 13% of news items involved female staff, however the submission highlights how this percentage had risen to 60% by 2014. School of Life Sciences (Keele)
Academic staff Professional and Support StaffCareer breaksThe department noted that it advertised its childcare vouchers scheme during the maternity/paternal returners and leavers lunch, led by a female senior member of staff. Advertising the childcare voucher scheme during biannually occuring lunches at the department resulted in an overall increase in the amount of staff using childcare vouchers. The lunches were organised by the Diversity team. Barts and The London School of Medicine (QMUL)
Academic staff Gender balance The School wanted to improve the representation of women and ensure a female friendly environment, particularly among its external examiners. External examiners were replaced every four years for each undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with suggestions for nominees discussed by the teaching team twelve months before the end of the current external examiners contract. The Athena SWAN champion kept an overview of the gender balance of external examiners, and encouraged the teaching team to consider approaching whichever gender was least well represented at the time (all else being equal). The gender balance among external examiners was previously 100% male, but it had improved by the time of submission and contained two female examiners out of seven in 2014. In 2017, the department reported a gender balance in its external examiners, employing four males and four females. School of Life Sciences (Keele)
Academic Staff Promotion Recruitment The submission set out to increase the visibility of its existing female staff and publicise its previous Athena SWAN submission. These initiatives aimed to attract equal numbers of applications from men and women, and achieve gender parity in the number of research and academic staff appointed to senior posts. Links to the successful Athena SWAN submission and award were placed on the Schools website. Additionally, the visibility of female staff was increased through replacing generic images on the Schools website, with images of real female employees and their families. Recruitment figures saw an increase from no women at AC3 level (higher pay band) in 2006/7, to women making up 60% of staff at the same level in 2011/12. This indicated the closing of the gender pay gap and a greater representation of female staff in higher level positions. QUB - Find Link
Academic staffWork/Life balance Flexible working CultureTraining and career advice workshops, such as 'Career Development' and 'Women in Science' seminars were arranged to discuss issues of managing work/life balance, career progression and flexible working. The department also purchased a number of lifetime memberships to a support network (OXFEST) for women in science, engineering and technology, which offered information and support.Staff feedback suggested that the seminars had raised awareness and increased participation: 81% and 73% of staff indicated that they had heard of or had participated in the 'Women in Science’ or 'Career Development' seminars, respectively. These seminars were also made available online, where the 'Women in Science' seminars received over 3000 page views between 2012 and 2014. The Submission noted feedback on the workshops was very positive and the seminar titled "Women in Science" led to the development of a University webpage with video clips on changing the culture within the department.Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic staff Professional and Support StaffCultureWith the aim of improving overall staff awareness of equality and diversity issues, the School set up online equality and diversity training for all staff; modules included 'Diversity in the Workplace' and 'Recruitment and Selection'. With a particular focus on admissions tutors and the Welfare and Communications group, a half day of training was organised and staff were encouraged to attend through regular reminders on staff bulletins and notice boards. Attendance of staff and the quality of training were continuously monitored, finding that E-learning modules and/or training courses were undertaken by 159 (40%) members of staff. Training courses entitled 'Think what you Think' and 'Types of Discrimination', received positive feedback from staff and led to an increase in staff signing up for further training courses.Warwick Medical School
Academic StaffPromotion CultureA pilot mentoring scheme was initiated in 2012 for female academics, which aimed to 'match-up' women to facilitate 'free and frank' interactions among colleagues. An evaluation of this mentoring scheme was conducted through review meetings with both mentors and mentees and a questionnaire, with an external report written up and distributed to relevant QMUL staff.As a result of positive feedback in the external report, the mentoring scheme was expanded to institutional level and funded by the university. Using feedback from its staff survey, the department suggested that these initiatives had a direct impact on the number of senior female staff applying for, and being successful at, promotions.Barts and The London School of Medicine (QMUL)
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffRetentionThe use of exit interviews or questionnaires was strongly encouraged in order to better understand why staff left the department and to identify trends. An online questionnaire was set up first, and from 2014 onwards, face-to face interviews were conducted for all leavers, with the exception of staff overseas who were interviewed over Skype instead. Regular spot checking of HR data was also implemented to improve the accuracy of HR data stored about leavers, such as researcher profiles 'post' employment. The online questionnaire gained a 30% response rate (61 responses out of 142 leavers). The department also noted improvements with regards to data accuracy based on more regular revisions of the HR guidance on data quality.Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Postgraduate StudentsCareer breaksPostgraduate research students were encouraged to attend an Athena Swan workshop, which offered further information on the institute’s policies relating to Athena Swan. Subsequent to this, the institute started to send out weekly e-mails to all students, which included information and resources on grants and scholarships, as well as early career opportunities.The Institute noted that the Athena SWAN workshop had a significant impact on students' understanding of the student maternity policy and that the institute had started to fund student stipends during their maternity leave, where necessary. Guidance on where to find further support was posted on the institute's staff and student web portal, and was also included on all postgraduate research degree advertisements.Institute of Ageing and Chronic Diseases (Liverpool)
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffCulture Accommodating caring responsibilitiesThe school displayed a clear desire to increase attendance to its general meetings as it was suggested that increased staff attendance would contribute to a more inclusive work place. Therefore the continued use of the School's poll system was implemented to ensure that sufficient notice was given for meetings and that they occurred at mutually convenient times.The implementation of a polling system was reported to have gained good feedback from staff and an overall increase in attendance was observed at School meetings. The submission noted that this was particularly due to major meetings taking place between 10am and 4pm, times which were considered to be 'family friendly'. School of Pharmacy
Postgraduate StudentsCareer developmentThe School's employability team launched its own career development tool, labelled "My Career Zone", designed for postgraduate research students. The tool encouraged students to engage in courses to support their own development, such as the 'Researcher Development Programme'. The School witnessed the effectiveness of the career development tool (My Career Zone) through an increase in the number of female students attending its Researcher Development Sessions, reporting a rise from 29% to 53% between 2012 and 2014. University of Exeter Medical School
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffAccommodating caring responsibilitiesAs a significant proportion of its staff had caring and/or childcare responsibilities, it was clear the department wanted to ensure it was continuing to maintain a supportive and family friendly environment. Actions carried out to achieve this included the set-up of a Buddy system for those with carer responsibilities and for staff returning from a career break. The department also planned to include helpful links and information on family friendly events in its staff inductions and on its department website, which was to be checked once a month for accuracy.From the department’s staff survey in 2013, it was clear that staff felt those who had parent or carer responsibilities were offered useful and accessible resources. In the staff survey, 89% of staff said they knew where to find information on schools and nurseries, compared to 75% of staff in 2012. Furthermore, 69% of staff said they knew about university resources for families, compared to 37% of staff in 2012.Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic StaffCultureThe department set up a series of debates in November 2012, which covered multi-disciplinary topics and encouraged the participation of staff from across the department and the university. In order to demonstrate the value of multi-disciplinary approaches and encourage co-operation among the department, a qualitative methods clinic was set up in 2013, alongside already existing statistic clinics, to advise on research projects.The qualitative methods clinic advised on 12 projects within its first 10 months of being active. The debate series and research clinics were reported to have benefited clinical and non-clinical research staff who gained knowledge from interacting with staff who specialised in other methods and approaches, as well as feeling valued for sharing their own specialisms with other staff. The department saw an 11% increase from 2012 to 2013 in the number of staff agreeing with the statement, "I feel valued in the department for the work I do".Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffFlexible workingIn its submission, the department demonstrated a commitment to ensuring its staff had a clear understanding of flexible working policies and the process to request it. Flexible working requests were recorded and published in order to increase staff awareness. Questions and information concerning flexible working were also included during recruitment, induction and included in Personal Development Reviews (PDR), through which the department aimed to facilitate open discussions. This initiative was further supported by the uploading of flexible working case studies on the department’s website.The department recorded an increase from 20 members of staff working flexibly in January 2013, to 35 members of staff in June 2014; 94% of these flexible working arrangements were taken up by female members of staff. Departmental survey results indicated an increase in awareness about flexible working, with just 23% of staff uncertain about flexible working policies, and webpages dedicated to work/life balance received over 700 page views. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic StaffGender balanceWith the aim of increasing awareness of the contribution that women make to the Primary Care Health Sciences, the department monitored attendance at seminars and the gender balance of presenters and chairs responsible for delivering them. The School increased the frequency of department seminars and attempted to maintain a gender balance in presenters (where feasible) that more accurately reflected the staff within the department.From the department’s 2013 staff survey, it was noted that 80% of staff felt they were valued in the department and 85% of staff agreed that women were well represented. Working towards a more equal gender balance among its speakers reportedly led to more positive responses on issues of visibility and feeling valued, demonstrated by the above feedback from staff. Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Undergraduate students Postgraduate students Academic Staff Gender balance CultureThe School aimed to develop initiatives which would highlight female role models and better reflect the male/female ratio among its staff. This was particularly sought in lecture settings where female speakers were typically underrepresented. The Divisional Seminar Series was given as an example that the School was actively working on to achieve a gender balance between its speakers. The Medical School noted a small increase in the proportion of female speakers at its Divisional Seminar Series. There were also increases in the proportion of female speakers at other lecture series across the School; the 'inaugural lecture series' saw a 5% increase in the number of lectures delivered by female staff compared with previous years (33% in 2012).Warwick Medical School
Academic StaffWork/Life balance Career developmentThe department wanted to see a substantial number of staff moving from fixed term to open ended or permanent contracts, and ensure that there was no significant gender disparity on either contracts. Practical measures were taken to review contract types by gender and length of service, with a clear commitment to improving job security and its staff’s work/life balance.The departmental review showed no specific link between gender and type of contract, additionally finding no significant gender disparity for staff working on Athena SWAN related projects in open-ended/permanent versus fixed term contracts. Across the department, the number of women on open-ended contracts rose from 11 to 43 and for men it rose from 28 to 69, resulting in increased levels of staff satisfaction in its 2014 staff survey. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic StaffPromotion Recruitment Gender balanceThe Medical School was conscious to increase the number of female professors it employed and aimed to achieve this through the inclusion of female profiles in the recruitment campaign for the expansion of the School's professoriate, in order to further encourage applications from potential female candidates. The School used the national average as a target. Furthermore, all recruitment packs included Athena Swan statements on equal opportunities, to highlight the School's inclusive culture.Within the small professoriate in 2013, of 25 Associate and Full Professors, 36% were female compared with 31% in 2010/11. The rise of female professors to 36%, was above and beyond the initial target of the national average, achieved predominantly though the internal promotion of existing female staff. University of Exeter Medical School
Academic StaffWork/Life balanceThe department organised a half day workshop in November 2013, entitled "The Balanced Researcher", which was available for all staff to attend and aimed to facilitate discussions about work/life balance. Alongside this, Human Resources internal Recruitment Information Form was revised to prompt recruiters to consider part-time or job-share recruitment for job roles. The success of "The Balanced Researcher" and other courses/workshops on managing work life balance, was measured using the annual staff survey.Responses from the staff survey saw considerable improvements in satisfaction levels concerning work/life balance. For example with regards to the statement "I can discuss my work life balance with my manager", the submission noted that 84% off staff agreed in 2013 compared with 75% in 2012. Similarly, in response to the statement "I am managing my work life balance OK at the moment", 84% of staff agreed in 2013 compared with 65% in 2012, according to the School's staff surveys.Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffWork/Life balance Flexible working Staff were encouraged to attend university organised courses on maintaining a healthy work/life balance, during which options concerning flexible and part-time working were highlighted. This initiative was implemented with the aim of reducing the number of staff who reported not managing their work/life balance. Results from the department’s staff survey demonstrated a decrease in those disagreeing with the statement, “I have a reasonable and manageable workload" from 23% in 2012 to 14% in 2013. Similarly, the statement "I am managing my work life balance OK at the moment", saw a disagreement rate of 16% in 2013 compared with 25% in 2012.Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic StaffWork/Life balance The discussion of workload satisfaction was introduced in appraisals for academic staff, in a clear attempt by the department to monitor and encourage open conversations about this issue. Similarly there was a specific section for discussion about staff workload in annual personal development reviews for research staff. The 2013 staff survey reported a 25% increase in the amount of staff who agreed that their workload was reasonable (87% in 2013, 63% in 2012). A total of 82% (up from 59% in 2012) of staff felt they were satisfied with their work/life balance. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffCulture The department aimed to promote an inclusive and supportive enviroment through the adoption of a career mapping philosophy. Staff were offered clear criteria for what was expected of them with regards to their workload, as well as clear guidelines on how they could advance to more senior positions. Implementation of a career mapping philosophy led to increased satisfaction rates amongst staff, who were subsequently more aware of how to progress in their career. As a result of the department's initiative, 94% of staff indicated that they would recommend the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine as a place to work In 2013, which was an increase from 69% in the 2012 survey.Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic StaffRecruitment PromotionThe School aimed to increase the number of applicants for promotions, particularly among junior academic women. The School developed an action plan to identify suitable female candidates for promotion at junior academic pay grades, and offered them additional support. The latter was predominantly offered through the provision of increased opportunities to take on responsibilities and attend relevant training sessions such as university leadership training.In 2014, the School saw an increase in the number of female academic staff applying for promotion; eight of the seventeen successful departmental promotions during 2011-2014 were of women. The School noted that this was a considerable improvement compared to its previous promotion period (pre-2011), where males were twice as likely to apply. School of Biological Sciences (Edinburgh)
Undergraduate Students Postgraduate StudentsStudent recruitmentThe College aimed to investigate a drop in the proportion of female postgraduate students on Bioscience through holding focus groups. It concluded that a lack of confidence represented a significant barrier to female undergraduates to apply for this course Actions implemented to tackle this included peer support, an increase in the number of female speakers and participation in the University’s pilot Sprint Programme. The peer support programme saw forty members volunteer in the academic year of 2014/15. On the Bioscience course, the department increased the number of female speakers at its events to 46%, with the aim of providing positive role models for female postgraduate applicants. Five female undergraduate students took part in the pilot of the University of Exeter ‘Sprint Programme' in October 2014, which offered specific training in career planning and confidence.The College saw a positive increase in the representation of female students between 2012/12 and 2014; the number of female students on Geography and Bioscience postgraduate courses increased from 51% to 66%, respectively. College of Life and Enviromental Sciences (Exeter) ***
Academic Staff Career developmentThe department made a number of changes to their Personal Development Review (PDR) process in order to increase the number of staff who felt the PDR benefited them in their careers. Clinical researchers were particularly targeted due to their previously reported low satisfaction levels. The PDR form was updated to include prompts to discuss mentoring, re-grading and external roles and responsibilities. PDRs for non-clinical research staff were also redesigned to include discussion on teaching opportunities, conference attendance and college membership opportunities. In the department's 2013 staff survey, 80% of staff agreed that they found their PDR beneficial, compared with 77% of staff in 2012. Additionally, 80% of non-clinical research staff agreed with the statement "I find my PDR's beneficial" in the department's 2013 staff survey, compared to 71% in 2012.Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic Staff Professional and Support StaffCulture With the aim of creating a more inclusive environment, the department increased the amount of family friendly events that occurred, and ensured that these events were scheduled for the weekend or a bank holiday. Further information regarding the events was highlighted through the department’s newsletter, e-mails and their website. This was alongside a physical display of Athena SWAN 'fact sheets' on departmental notice boards, which provided information on family friendly policies. Examples of events organised include cheese and wine tasting, barn dancing and a museum visit which had around 40 attendees. As a result of these events, the submission states that a 'cultural shift' was felt, supported by feedback suggesting 94% of staff would have recommended NDM as a work place in 2013.Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)
Academic Staff Professional and Support Staff Career developmentFeedback from the department’s annual staff survey suggested a lack of awareness concerning its career development schemes, particularly among female staff. This led to increased promotion and encouragement of participation in schemes from the Head of Department, particularly aiming to increase the awareness of the 'Springboard' scheme.The department noted a 24% increase in the percentage of women who were aware of the 'Springboard' scheme from 2012-2013 in staff surveys, which rose from 50% to 74%. The department suggested that an increase in awareness may have also contributed to a rise in the number of women on the programme, with four female researchers undertaking the 'Springboard' scheme during 2010-2013, two of whom enrolled after the initiative was put in place. Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic StaffPromotionThe School recognised that it had seen a limited number of female academic promotions and had very few existing female senior academics. Therefore the School's focus was on developing policies and initiatives to support and assist the career development of staff, such as setting up a promotion workshop and encouraging female staff to seek opportunities for external profile-raising activities. The School witnessed the successful promotion of one female member of staff after two years of putting these initiatives in place and advancements with regards to promotion made by other female academics during 2012 and 2014. The majority of both male and female staff (94%), who had joined the department before 2006, had achieved promotion to senior leadership, reader or professor by the time of submission in 2014. School of Life Sciences (Keele)
Academic StaffPromotion Gender balanceInitiatives were set out to increase the number of women in senior positions, after the department recognised that there was a gender imbalance at senior level. Actions included setting up a sub-committee in order to encourage potential female candidates to apply for senior clinical and non-clinical positions, as well as the promotion of seven female researchers. The sub-committee was responsible for contacting potential female candidates to invite them to apply for future posts, as well as providing application support for internal staff applying for promotions.As a result of these initiatives, over half of staff (51%) agreed that women were well represented at senior level in 2013, compared to 32% of staff in the 2012 staff survey. Two clinical female professors were appointed during 2013, alongside the appointment of a female public health doctor who took on a senior role as the Director of the Health Experiences Institute.Primary Care Health Sciences (Oxford)
Academic StaffPromotionA self-evaluation of the institute's promotion data found a strong gender bias against women; during 2010-2013, fourfold fewer women were promoted. As a result, JIC introduced an annual consideration of all female research leaders for promotion, in order to encourage women's career progression and ensure they were not overlooked in future promotion rounds.The institute's 2012/2013 promotion figures indicated that two female Research Leaders were promoted. While this was a small increase, it was noted to have had considerable impact considering a female Research Leader had not been promoted since 2008/2009.The John Innes Centre (JIC)
Academic StaffPromotionWith the aim of increasing the number of female staff at senior level, a mentoring scheme was established within the School. The scheme targeted a specific cohort of women who had the greatest potential for promotion and were in need of support. A CV workshop was additionally organised prior to the annual academic promotion round, where attendees were provided with the requirements and necessary information for promotion, and completed a task in which they assessed the strengths and weakness of each other’s CV.Both the mentoring scheme and the CV workshop gained positive feedback from members of staff, which subsequently led to the mentoring schemes expansion to all faculties. The School noted that fifteen female academics were matched in the academic year of 2013/14. Analysis of data from the CV workshop showed that four of the fourteen women who attended went on to submit applications for promotion, of which three were successful. Barts and The London School of Medicine (QMUL)
Academic StaffPromotionThe School demonstrated clear initiatives to address the low representation of female staff at lecturer level, which included revising its recruitment procedures and postdoctoral career support. Recruitment procedures were revised to highlight positions as collegial and advertise vacancies in groups of at least two lectureships to allow couples to apply. Postdoctoral researchers were encouraged to continue their careers in academia through the establishment of a Postdoctoral Forum, which held grant writing and fellowship meetings. The School saw an increase in the percentage of female lecturers from 23% in 2006/2007 to 42% in 2011/2012, demonstrating the success of its initiatives. QUB **
Postgraduate StudentsRecruitmentA self-analysis of the School's MSc admissions process found that proportionally fewer females were applying for postgraduate study than at undergraduate level. The School revised its advertisements of MSc postgraduate courses in 2011/12 to promote a more interactive approach to student recruitment, including the increased use of social media. Potential students were able to chat online with current students and meet course teachers online through virtual visits, both on a social media platform. After revising the advertisements for MSc postgraduate courses, the School saw a rise in the proportion of female applicants for all of its MSc programmes, from around 45% in 2010/2011 to 53% in 2011/2012. Furthermore, for the academic year of 2011/12, 66% of places on MSc courses were taken up by female students.School of Biological Sciences (Edinburgh)
Academic StaffGender balance The School carried out a review of its committee structure, particularly noticing a gender imbalance. This was to be addressed through inviting junior or external female staff onto committees and actively encouraging self and peer nomination, in order to reach the desired balance.The School noted that as of November 2014, it was actively nominating female members of staff onto external committees, such as its Medical Research Council. The submission also highlighted an increase in the percentage of female staff on its School Management Team committee and its Research Education Strategy Group committee. Barts and The London School of Medicine (QMUL)
Academic Staff Professional and Support Staff Gender balance The College aimed to increase male visibility on its Athena SWAN steering group, by appointing membership to male senior staff through invitation from existing members. Existing members were also given the responsibility of sharing necessary information from Athena SWAN meetings to the College's executive committee on a monthly basis, and encouraging both male and female staff to attend advertised events.The College's actions to increase the visibility of male staff resulted in three new male members joining the Athena SWAN steering group in May 2013, achieving a total of six male members of staff on its group by the time of submission. College of Medical and Dental Sciences (Birmingham)
Academic Staff Professional and Support Staff Career breaks Accommodating caring responsibilitiesProviding quality maternity, adoption or paternity options for its staff was clearly an important goal for the School, which set up confidential parental entitlement meetings. These one to one confidential meetings were set up to explain parental leave policies and discuss whether there needed to be any adjustment to hours of work when staff were to return. Following feedback from the confidential parental entitlement meetings, an improvement in paid paternity leave entitlement was introduced in December 2013. The increase in paternity leave entitlement gained positive feedback from parents and carers in focus groups, and the submission notes that none of the six members of staff who took paternity leave, had left the School during or after their leave. University of Exeter Medical School
Postgraduate Students Career development Culture The department demonstrated a clear commitment to maintaining achievable prize criteria for both male and female students in order to ensure gender balance between its prize recipients. The criteria for academic prizes were reviewed and approved by a qualified panel to ensure achievability for both genders. A few revisions were also made to the nomination process, which included expanding the eligibility for students up to two years after they completed their DPhil and allowing peer and self-nomination.In 2014, the department noted that it achieved a gender balance between its prize recipients, with four females and four males being awarded prizes. The expansion of eligibility to include DPhil students up to two years after their study supported the inclusion of those who may have chosen to take a career break. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) (Oxford)