Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

SEES Committee Members

SEES Committee Lists 2017
School Executive
Michelle Hale (HoD)
Craig Storey
Nick Koor
David Franklin
Research and Innovation
Michelle Hale (HoD)
Craig Storey
Nick Koor
Jim Smith
Melvin Vopson
Annette Götz
Andy Gibson
Karen Musk
Learning and Teaching
Michelle Hale (HoD)
David Franklin
Dean Bullen
Anthony Butcher
Health & Safety
Michelle Hale (HoD)
James Coyne
Stephanie Barnett (SCES)
Susan Atkins
1 Vacancy due to retirement

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Widening participation in the Geosciences

Special Edition: Widening participation in the Geosciences
Book now for the Geological Society’s Athena SWAN Workshop – 22 September 2017

On 22 September the Geological Society will be holding a workshop to offer support to Earth Science Department representatives working within Self-Assessment Teams (or Working Groups) who are engaged in advancing equality and diversity and working towards obtaining or renewing an Athena SWAN award. 
The workshop will give participants an opportunity to discuss and deliberate the processes involved in obtaining or maintaining an Athena SWAN award. It will allow participants to discuss issues they may be experiencing, both good and bad, and to offer and seek advice from other applicants at similar stages of the awards process. This workshop is intended to foster positive collaborative support and to help develop an Earth

Science Athena Swan community.  Chaired by Dr Jennifer McKinley, a member of the Society’s Council, the programme will focus on a number of key areas:

•    Planning and Preparation
•    Departmental Analysis and Developing an Action Plan
•    Evidencing Impacts
•    Draft submissions
•    Perspective of an Athena SWAN Panellist
•    Pitfalls and things to avoid

This is an excellent opportunity for a representative of your department or institution to come along and talk with others who share the similar goals and challenges. The workshop is free to attend and is scheduled to take place from 11:00 until 15:00. Timings will be confirmed and a programme circulated closer to the day.

Lunch will be provided, and dietary requirements can be catered for, but we ask that you inform us when expressing your intention to attend. We hope that you or a colleague will be able to join us for the Society’s first workshop.

If you would like further information or to register your interest for the workshop please email 

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Taking Control of your Career as a Female Physicist

Taking Control of your Career as a Female Physicist
Wednesday 15 November, 15.00 – 18.00
Hallam Conference Centre, London W1

Book now to reserve your place!

The IOP and SEPnet are holding a networking careers event for physics undergraduate and PGR students.

Our half-day panel and networking event will give you a chance to find out what career options are available to physicists.  You will hear from a range of female physicists who will talk about their roles and how they got to where they are.  They will provide practical advice and information about the skills and experience you need to progress in your career.

Jenni Dyer, Head of Diversity, IOP, will give the keynote speech.  Speakers include:

Sarah Medley
Tritium Plant Engineer
UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Rikki Douglas
Sales and Marketing Director
Ultra Electronics Nuclear Control Systems
Gwenaelle Lefeuvre
New Technology Development Manager
Micron Semiconductor Ltd
Amy Hearst
Process Engineer
Laura Benn
Magnetic Shields
Caterina Minelli
Senior Research Scientist
National Physical Laboratory
Kathy Romer
Professor of Astrophysics
University of Sussex
Tracey Berry
Senior Lecturer in Physics
Royal Holloway University of London
Ilana Wisby
Product Developer
Snapout Ltd
Helen White
Senior Technical Lead
HMG Contractor

Refreshments will be provided.

Places are limited.  Please register here:    
Members – Free   Non-members - £30      Apply to become a member with the IOP and attend for free: 
SEPnet students can claim support for travel expenses on a first come, first served basis by contacting their SEPnet Employer Engagement Officer.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

SEES Female Focus Group meeting, August 1st 2017

Present : Emily Butcher, Annette Gotz, Michelle Hale, Catherine Mottram,  Anouska Panton,  Sue Ridout, Jessica Roberts, Carmen Solana.

1.       Introduction, welcome and celebration of the excellent news for SEES in 2017:
·         Michelle Hale becomes the first female HoD of SEES. Well done Michelle!
·         We recruited 2 new female academic staff in the department:  Prof. Annette Gotz, our first female professor in SEES and Dr. Catherine Mottram. Welcome Annette and Catherine!
·         Carmen Solana takes over the leadership of the Geohazards BSc course. Fool!!

2.       Issues raised:
·          Although Athena swan has traditionally focused on females, we would like to broaden it into supporting equality in general: parents, staff with illnesses or disabilities, minorities, etc.
·         While academic female staff enjoy the opportunity of flexible hours, technical and admin staff seem to encounter a very inflexible structure. Unfortunately they depend directly from human resources, but there might be opportunities to at least raise this issue. There are cases of good practice, such as James Coyne supporting Emily through allowing her more flexibility at work within her agreed hours. We therefore will support any initiative for admin and technical staff to have the opportunity to, in agreement with the line manager, have a less structured and more flexible working day around the “core hours”.
·         The proposed academic year structure is still being debated and we would like to support the proposal that breaks (e.g. reading weeks/ easter/consolidation week/etc.) coincide with Hampshire schools half term weeks and Easter holidays.  Jim Smith as Athena coordinator, to write to David Sanders informing him of our support to this option.
·         The seminar series continues to run in “non family friendly” times. Catherine, the new organiser, has agreed to test running some of these seminars at lunchtime.
·         Michelle Hale shared her good experience on an intra-faculty all-female water researchers group and proposed that either the is opened to other female lecturers/researchers or to create a new group for SEES. We agreed that more interaction and support to research, paper writing and grant opportunities will be great, maybe starting with some regular  female researchers coffee mornings- to be opened to PhD and Post-doc students as well.
·         Different people proposed more interaction within the department in general. Specifically, Catherine and Anouska (one of the few post-docs in the department) have raised the issue of the lack of opportunities for interaction and to meet more people in the department.  Organising a monthly coffee morning has been proposed.
·         Jessica Roberts, a regular external lecturer on the MSc in Crisis and Disaster Management raised the importance of opening opportunities for women in hourly contracts to formalise their contribution.
·         The department has changed to the better in terms of equality for women but there is still room for improvement: please confront any comment or behaviour that you feel that it is inappropriate or demeaning. If you rather not do it directly please raise the issue with Michelle Hale (as HoD).

3.       Actions and future meetings
·         Catherine to schedule some weekly seminars at lunchtime instead of after 6pm.
·         Jim  as Athena coordinator, to write to David Sanders informing him of our support to this option- maybe gather more support from other people at the school through an email?.
·         Annette, would you mind taking on the organisation of the female coffee mornings?
·         Michelle Hale to propose dates for a monthly coffee morning ( any chance of the department to subsidise coffee& biscuits/cakes to encourage attendance?)

·         Carmen to schedule a new meeting at the beginning of December.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Webinar – Stepping away from the lab, Thursday 27 July, 12.45–13.30pm

The IOP invites you to the webinar – Stepping away from the lab
Thursday 27 July, 12.45–13.30pm  
Are you a female physics PhD or postdoc who knows a career in academia isn’t for you but are unsure what to do next? Then this webinar is for you.
Aimed at female physics early-career researchers who want to stay in physics but move outside academia, it will focus on the what employers look for and how to apply this criteria to your applications. By the end of the webinar you will also understand your career aspirations and values in order to develop your career goals with increased confidence.
Webinar outline: The 45-minute webinar will focus on and cover the following topics:
* Non-academic roles available for physics researchers
* Where to find support (developmental research staff, careers services and the IOP)
* What employers are looking for
* Effective communication skills for any situation
* Building your networks to find out more
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact:  
Vishanti Fox
Careers & CPD Manager
Institute of Physics
76 Portland Place

Many Congratulations to Athena Livesey for gaining one of the top five places in the We are the City Female Future Pipeline Rising Star Awards...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Female academics do more admin than their male colleagues

Female academics do significantly more internal administrative work than their male counterparts, according to an analysis of surveys performed at US institutions. Carried out by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and Indiana University, the study found that the gender imbalance is highest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. While such internal work is vital for the day-to-day running of institutions, it is less valuable for promotions and salary increases than research and teaching, possibly hindering female career progression.

In one survey, which included 6875 tenure and tenure-track faculty at 140 US institutions, female academics reported spending, on average, 0.6 hours more per week than males on admin. The researchers also looked at 2012 data from a mandatory performance reporting system at two campuses belonging to a large public university. Covering 1378 faculty, it showed that women perform 12.4 admin activities per year, while men do just 10.9. In STEM subjects, women reported performing three more admin activities per year than men, compared with 2.5 for liberal arts and 0.3 for social sciences.

Read more here  

Friday, 3 March 2017

Athena Swan Committee Meeting

The next Committee Meeting will be at 13.00 on Thursday 16th March. We'll meet in The Hub.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The annual University of Portsmouth Athena SWAN Conference: 17 May 2017

Save the date in your diaries for the annual University of Portsmouth Athena SWAN Conference on Wednesday 17 May 2017, 1.00pm–4.00pm.  The theme of the 2017 Athena SWAN Conference is ‘Increasing the Diversity of our Talent Pool’, reflecting the commitment of the University to the Extended Principles of Athena SWAN.

Athena SWAN now takes a broader and more inclusive approach to gender equality, having been expanded to cover all areas of the University, not just STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). It also now covers professional and support staff as well as academic staff and transgender equality for staff and students.

We have an exciting line-up of external and internal speakers, who will include:
Harriet Minter, a journalist and broadcaster specialising in female leadership.  She founded and edited the Guardian’s Women in Leadership section, which focused on women in the workplace, and now writes a column for them on Women in Tech.  She is also a columnist for Psychologies magazine and hosts the Badass Women’s Hour on TalkRadio

Katie Cornhill, a visionary and inspiring leader, a woman who works for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service that just happens to have a Trans* history. She also previously served for six years in the Royal Marines. Katie uses the fact that she’s a firefighter – a respected role among the local community – to educate others about the need for inclusion and equality, and an end to discrimination due to a persons sexual or gender identity and expression. Katie currently chairs the UK Fire and Rescue Service LGBTQIA+ staff support network, quiltbag and is a Trustee and Role Model for Stonewall. Katie has also orchestrated the development of a consortium of public service networks which currently has 18 member organisations.
Matthew Weait, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and the University Athena SWAN Champion.

The conference will be opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Graham Galbraith.
More info: