Event marks women in science award success

Published: 25 April 2018

The University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute has gained a prestigious award for supporting the career development of women working in science.

The Roslin Institute received an Athena SWAN Gold award for its work promoting gender equality. It is the only higher education department in Scotland to hold the award.

Dame Anne Glover, who was Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland and the first Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission, spoke at the event to mark the success.

The Chief Executive of the UK Government’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Professor Melanie Welham, also took part.

Attendees discussed the challenges associated with encouraging more women to develop careers in science, technology, engineering and maths – in higher education and industry.

We have worked extremely hard to create and mainstream sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality. We have put in place a wide range of actions to develop and support the careers of women scientists at every stage, and we have shared these within the University and across the higher education sector.

Professor Eleanor Riley, Director, The Roslin Institute

The Athena SWAN Charter celebrates good employment practice for women working in STEM fields in higher education and research.

The Roslin Institute has been a member of the charter since 2011. It received a Bronze award in 2012 and a Silver award in 2014.

Gold awards are granted to departments that can be regarded as beacons of achievement in gender equality.

Roslin is one of only ten university departments or institutes across the UK – and the only one in Scotland – to hold the Gold award.

A number of actions have been implemented to support the careers of women at The Roslin Institute.

The visibility of positive role models for early career scientists has been improved by ensuring that half of the speakers in the Institute’s seminar programme are women.

A programme to provide individual career coaching for staff at key stages in their career has been introduced.

In addition, the Institute ensures gender parity on all interview and PhD student committees.

Carers grants have been introduced to help staff with caring responsibilities meet the additional costs associated with attending conferences.

Since our engagement with the Athena SWAN process there has been a marked increase in the proportion of female professors at the Institute – from 23 per cent to 35 per cent.

Professor Helen Sang, Chair of the Career Development Committee, The Roslin Institute


Source: University of Edinburgh


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