Transforming cultures What can science communicators take from gender equality schemes such as Athena SWAN?
Clare Wilkinson – Science Communication Unit, UWE Bristol. United Kingdom
The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research in the UK. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. The paper will discuss how culture change initiatives like Athena SWAN can seek to mobilise change amongst university departments and practices, as well as some of the potential difficulties of such opportunities. It will also outline the aspects of such schemes that might be relevant to the science communication community, and those which are not.
The presentation will include data from a 2019 survey carried out with academic staff, students, technical and professional staff at UWE Bristol. This survey completed by 74% (n=111) of department staff included responses to questions on departmental culture, support for career progression, and equality and inclusivity, as well as a range of other topics. An infographic will be provided to support explanation of key results. The insight paper will encourage participants to reflect on their own role in gender equality, as well as the theoretical and practical implications of such agendas. It will also provide advice on how to engage students and colleagues in culture change initiatives, which are seeking to address a range of intersectional issues.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.