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Home Article Tackling retention and career progression for women in science academia

Tackling retention and career progression for women in science academia

Published: 06/02/2014

ECU welcomes Science and Technology Select Committee report

ECU welcomes today’s report from the Science and Technology select committee highlighting the problem of retention and underrepresentation of women in academic STEMM careers.

Commenting on the Women in scientific careers report, David Ruebain, ECU Chief Executive said:

‘We welcome the select committee’s report today. The retention of women and their underrepresentation at senior levels in STEMM is an issue that many universities are already seeking to address, but the report’s recommendations may help to improve retention rates, and ensure fewer women are stifled in their careers.’

‘As the report found, increasing numbers of universities and STEMM departments are involved in ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter. We have just completed a pilot extending Athena SWAN to research institutes not affiliated to universities, which shows there is a growing commitment to addressing the problem across scientific disciplines.’

‘We are pleased to see that the committee has outlined actions to address the issue at every level, including calling for funders to require a clear commitment to equality. We hope that this will underline that equality is not just a “nice to have”, or an add-on.’

‘We also welcome the call for more equality and diversity training, especially for recruitment and promotion panels and line managers to combat unconscious bias. We are aware that this would be a huge undertaking for equality and diversity specialists within universities, and the time and resource implications will need to be considered.’

ECU submitted written and oral evidence to the select committee inquiry. Visit the Science and Technology committee website for more details on the inquiry and the report.

Alongside the Athena SWAN Charter, ECU is developing a race equality charter mark for academic and professional and support staff in higher education, and a gender equality charter mark for academic and professional and support staff in the arts, humanities and social sciences.