It is well known that senior positions in universities and research institutes are predominantly filled by men, and moves are being made to tackle this. To increase gender equality, Athena SWAN recognises universities which are committed to the advancement and promotion of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM).
The Athena SWAN Charter recognises excellence in STEMM employment in higher education. Since its launch in 2005, member universities around the UK have received Athena SWAN awards, and Athena SWAN is now looking for volunteers to judge the next round of submissions.
The ways in which universities can support women are wide-ranging, such as family-friendly working policies, including a woman on all interview panels and decision-making committees, and sending a female role-model into schools. Universities or university departments are given gold, silver or bronze awards depending on their level of support for women.
To learn about the work which universities and research institutes are doing to support women, you can find case studies on the Athena SWAN website.
High numbers of submissions are expected for the next round of awards, which will take place in January and February 2013, so Athena SWAN is eager for more people to come forwards as panellists.
Panellists have three main responsibilities: (i) reading the submissions (up to eight) and preparing comments for the panel discussion, (ii) attending the day-long panel session in London, and (iii) participating in online discussion if further information is requested.
Panellists are taken from a wide range of backgrounds including academics, equality and diversity practitioners, and industry representatives. The gender balance of the panels is important, so there is a particular need for men to sign up. The most important quality in a potential panellist is an awareness of the issues facing women in STEM.
If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or ask for more details.