Equality and Diversity in the Department of Chemistry

graduate with children

The Department of Chemistry strives to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel.

We recognise the importance of the equal participation of women at all levels in a subject that has traditionally been, and remains, male-dominated.

The Department is committed to the Athena SWAN Charter for women in science, an initiative for the advancement of women's careers in higher education and research in the STEMM (science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics) disciplines.

Chemistry at York was the first academic department in the UK to receive the Athena SWAN Gold award, first attained in 2007 and then renewed in October 2010 and in April 2014.

The Department's Equality and Diversity Group provides the focus for our efforts:

  • within the Department, to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups;
  • within the Athena SWAN framework, to tackle the under-representation of women in science by changing cultures and attitudes;
  • internally and externally, to promulgate good practice and to promote a culture of equality in higher education.

Athena SWAN requires Gold award holding departments to:

  • demonstrate a substantial and well-established activity and achievement record in working towards equality in career progression in STEMM;
  • demonstrate beacon activities in gender equality to the wider community.

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Introduction

The Department of Chemistry and Equality & Diversity.

Chemistry's Equality and Diversity Group keeps practices and procedures within the Department under review, to consider ways of improving these to ensure fairness for all staff and students and raise awareness of equality and diversity.  Examples of best practice are already embedded in many of the Department's activities but there are many areas where improvements can still be made.

Current membership of Equality and Diversity Group: Caroline Dessent (Chair), Duncan Bruce, Helen Coombs, Emma Dux/Amanda Dixon, Liz Fear, Catherine Jardine, Leonie Jones, Avtar Matharu, Alison Parkin, Robin Perutz, Paul Walton, Derek Wann, Katie Read/Ruth Purvis (Post-doc Reps), Stella Foster/ Alex Palmer (Undergraduate Reps) Liz Fear (Postgraduate Rep), Corrine Howie (HR), Ellie Purser (Biology) and HR Administrator (Secretary).

Equality and Diversity Group Minutes (internal users only)

Key features of the Department's egalitarian approach are:

Key decision-making committees (e.g. Executive Strategy Group, Research Committee) involve staff members of different genders and levels of seniority. Equality matters are a standing item on all departmental committee agendas.

Academic Group Leaders have a responsibility for personnel issues in their area, including equality, and have been briefed on unconscious bias.

A workload model for academic staff has been devised and continues to be developed, to improve transparency of workload management and task assignment, and to ensure fair recognition of all work carried out inside and outside the department.

Issues specific to early-career and contract researchers are actively addressed under the co-ordination of a Graduate and Postdoctoral Training Officer, as well as being a focus of the Equality and Diversity Group:

  • negative impact of short-term contracts;
  • obstacles in transition from PhD to academic career;
  • personal and professional development;
  • mentoring schemes;
  • the roles and responsibilities of contract researchers & principal investigators.

E-newsletters and web pages communicate and celebrate successes across the Department

The Department encourages regular social events including:

  • a mixed cricket team, a 5-a-side football league;
  • Annual Family Barbecue and cricket/rounders match;
  • Departmental parties and drinks to celebrate successes.

Benefits (see: RSC Good Practice in Chemistry Departments)

  1. Good practice benefits all staff and students. Bad practice adversely affects women's careers more than men's.
  2. The best departments don't target measures specifically at women. Good practice is about processes that are fair, flexible, accessible and transparent to all.
  3. Good practice departments appear able to attract and retain women far better than other departments
  4. There is no evidence that good practice affects scientific excellence. In contrast, the detrimental effects of bad practice are incremental.
  5. Leadership from the top with the Head of Department as champion is critical.
  6. Young men and women with families have different expectations from their older colleagues. The younger staff careers cannot thrive unless the working culture reflects the reality of dual career partnerships.
  7. Successful action is based on good planning.

Work within the Department of Chemistry on equality issues has been pushed forward by successive Heads of Department, Professors Bruce Gilbert, Robin Perutz, Paul Walton and Richard Taylor. Thanks also to Caroline Fox from Athena Forum and Sean McWhinnie of Oxford Research and Policy.

Achievements

Achievements highlighted in the successful 2015 Gold renewal

Full report:Successful October 2015 Gold Athena SWAN Renewal submission (PDF  , 5,969kb)

  • Increased uptake of part-time and flexible working
  • 100% return rate from maternity leave
  • Improvements in induction for new staff including allocation of mentor and inclusion of information on inclusivity
  • Revised advertising material to include more equality information
  • Introduction of researchers forum and increased researcher representation on committees
  • Equality and Diversity brief for Academic Group leaders including unconscious bias training for Academic Group Leaders
  • Held a departmental LGBT survey and identified LGBT contacts
  • Introduction of a quiet Room for staff
  • Unconscious bias awareness and training activities held
  • New departmental Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave guidelines for staff and graduate students
  • Athena SWAN group expanded to become Equality and Diversity Group 
  • New Management structure introduced with Equality and Diversity Chair on Departmental Management Team 
  • Daphne Jackson Fellowship awarded to Chemistry at York for male part-time researcher
  • Introduction of Named Researcher and Direct Appointments Procedure
  • Appointment of Researcher Champion
  • Equal Pay Audit performed

The figure below shows the pipeline percentages of females in York Chemistry in 2014/15. There is little drop-off between undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers and lecturers but a fall to more senior academic positions and this is an area which the Equality and Diversity Group will try to address over the next few years (see Strategic Aims tab).

Transition points for female staff 2014/2015

Successes and achievements by members of the Department, such as prizes won by staff and students, are communicated and celebrated by a variety of means, including internal announcements and website publishing of the following:

Strategic aims

Strategic aims highlighted in 2015 Athena SWAN Gold re-submission

Our strategy is informed by our surveys, accurate data/statistics and their analysis and is focused on clear, measurable and ambitious targets. 

Some of our strategic aims/objectives for 2013 onwards are:

  • To continue to increase the percentage of female staff in all categories, with the objective of having 25% of female professorial staff by 2020
  • To have 45%F research staff by 2020
  • To identify the reasons behind and to reduce the pay gaps in all main categories of staff (to less than 5% for professorial staff and <10% for support staff by 2020)
  • To develop more gender champions and advocates both within and outside the department, with particular focus on capitalising on our beacon status nationally and internationally.
  • To extend our equality work into other equality dimensions. 
  • To host the Joliot-Curie conference here in York in 2016
  • To bring gender parity to our u/g school, exploring innovative means such as a review the content of option modules on our course and examine for any gender bias
  • To establish gender parity in our graduate school
  • To extend our unconscious-observer scheme for recruitment selection panels
  • Have at least 40% female seminar speakers and 30% female PhD external examiners

Our work is underpinned at all levels by the evidence from the social sciences.  This evidence has been drawn from a variety of sources, several of which have been discussed at length by the Equality and Diversity Group.  For instance, our focus on unconscious bias stems from well-established psychology studies.  In another example, our focus on "quality over quantity" is evidenced by studies in academic behaviour on publishing.  Our approach to academic appointments is informed by the known pitfalls of assessing applicants whilst under stress. 

We recognise our particular responsibility to act as a beacon department for equality practice.  We specifically see this promotion extending into subjects beyond STEM, into HEI management, professional societies and onto an international stage.  

 

News

Equality and Diversity news

June 2016 - Latest E&D Departmental Newsletter Chemistry E&D Newsletter Summer Term 2016 (PDF  , 1,168kb)

January 2016 - Chemistry participants attend inaugural LGBT STEMinar in Sheffield

A group of York Chemists attended the first UK LGBTSTEMinar in Sheffield on 15 January 2016. The day's scientific presentations covered a wide variety of subject areas, such as wildlife conservation, colliding galaxies, cardiac remodelling after a heart attack, and crowdsourcing cancer research. York’s own Derek Wann gave a presentation entitled “Making Molecular Movies”, on the study of kinetics at a molecular level. Chris Unsworth and Robin Brabham both presented their ongoing PhD work in the form of posters.

Alongside the science content, the event addressed issues of being LGBT in a STEM working environment. Dave Smith opened the day with his Keynote speech entitled “No sexuality please – We’re Scientists” in which he addressed topics such as hidden diversity, how attitudes can vary in differing locations, and what can be done to create an inclusive working environment.

December 2015 - Athena SWAN Gold presented at ceremony in Oxford

Helen Coombs, Ruth Purvis and Derek Wann travelled to Oxford in mid-December 2015 to attend the Athena SWAN Awards Ceremony, which was held at the University Examination Schools building.  York Chemistry was the only department to pick up a Gold award.

The ceremony featured presentations from Dr Stephen Goss (PVC for Personnel and Equality at Oxford), David Ruebain (CE for the Equality Challenge Unit), Professor Tiantian Zhang (Head of the Graduate School, Bournemouth University), Professor Dame Julia Higgins (Athena SWAN patron), Professor Jane Norman (Vice Principal for People and Culture at the University of Edinburgh) and Derek Wann representing York Chemistry.

Departmental Equality & Diversity Newsletters

(previously Athena SWAN newsletters)

Chemistry E&D Newsletter Spring Term 2016 (PDF  , 1,225kb)

Chemistry Equality & Diversity Newsletter December 2015 (PDF  , 742kb)

Chemistry Equality & Diversity newsletter May 2015 (PDF  , 1,331kb)

Chemistry Equality and Diversity Newsletter March 2015 (PDF  , 772kb)

Chemistry Equality & Diversity Newsletter December 2014 (PDF  , 479kb)

Chemistry Athena SWAN Newsletter June 2014 (PDF  , 546kb)

Chemistry Athena SWAN Newsletter April 2014 (PDF  , 221kb)

Chemistry Athena SWAN Newsletter May 2013 (PDF  , 693kb)

Chemistry Athena SWAN Newsletter February 2012 (PDF  , 313kb)

Chemistry Athena SWAN Newsletter November 2012 (PDF  , 372kb)

Case Studies

Case Studies

Dr Caroline Dessent

Photo of Caroline Dessent and family

Caroline Dessent started in 1997 as a post-doctoral researcher, then held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship from 1999-2008, and is now a Senior Lecturer in physical chemistry holding a ERC Starting Grant (2008-2015).

Caroline says:
"I have had three children (James 14, Grace 9, and Kitty 5) over the time I’ve worked at York.  As my children are spaced out in age, I’ve had the chance to experience first-hand how attitudes to maternity leave and flexible working have changed.  I had James in 2000, and came back to work full-time after four months of maternity leave.  When I had Grace in 2005, I returned to work full time after six months, but was able to work very flexibly with the department’s support.  After Kitty was born in 2009, I was on leave for ten months and then returned to work three days a week initially.

The demands of having three children and a busy husband are substantial (!) and I felt that it wasn’t possible for me to balance the demands of caring for my enlarged family with working full-time.  It was very reassuring to know that the department would be fully supportive of my decision to work part-time.  Like most issues around work-life balance, what was good for my family was not ideal for my laboratory, and I’ve increased my part-time hours gradually since Kitty turned 2, so that I now work 4.25 days a week.  The three quarters of a day “time-off” is important to me as it gives me flexibility to pick up my daughters from school several days a week.  Working four and a quarter days is certainly a much more comfortable compromise for my working life.  However, it was probably essential for me to have the flexibility to work less when Kitty was very young due to the demands on the whole family over that period, and it was certainly very good to be able to make these decisions knowing my employer was supportive."

Professor Lucy Carpenter

Photo of Lucy Carpenter and family

Lucy has worked in the Department since 2000, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 then Chair in 2009 and is now Chair of the Departmental Research Committee and Deputy Head Research in the department. She is an Atmospheric Chemist, specialising in the chemistry of the clean marine atmosphere and in natural emissions of volatile organic compounds.

Lucy says:
"I've had two periods of maternity leave lasting 5 and 6 months for Josie (now 13) and Finlay (10).  The Department was very supportive in allowing me to return to work half time for the first few months, which really helped whilst the chlidren settled into the University nursery, and then giving me the flexibility to work hours which suited my family life.  Since having children I've moved from full-time to various degrees of part-time and back again.   Once the children started school, I used the flexibility of part time working to be able to pick them up from school several times a week.  I feel fortunate that having a flexible job has meant I’ve spent maximum time with them whilst attempting (not always succeeding!) in trying to keep on top of things at work.  The Department also supported my career helping me with promotion (including to Chair) when working part-time.  Now the children have longer hours at school, I returned to full-time work in 2016, but like many working parents or carers, I'm thankful for flexible and home working."

Dr Katie Read

Photo of Katie Read and family

Katie Read started in Chemistry in 2005 as a post-doctoral researcher in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Her husband has worked in the Department since 2003.  Katie set up and now manages an atmospheric observatory in Cape Verde.  Initially, she travelled to Cape Verde frequently and for extended times. Her first child, Nina, arrived in 2010 six weeks early, needing time in the Special Care Baby Unit. The Department allowed her husband to split his paternity leave between then and when Nina came home.  Returning to work 9 months later, Katie was supported in returning part-time and worked for 3 months at 50%.  Later Katie increased her work to 80% and in April 2012 took a second maternity leave for Leighton’s birth.  She returned in November working 3 days per week which by the end of the year was increased back to 4 days or 80%.  

Katie says:
"There has always been an informal flexibility in my working due to supportive colleagues but recent changes to the departmental flexible working scheme have made this more acceptable and more transparent. Work trips away when I have to work 7 days a week are balanced at other times by childcare needs and school commitments.  I feel confident that my seniors care about both my scientific career and personal needs as a mother and I feel very secure in my position in the Department."

 Professor Dave Smith

Prof Dave Smith‌Dave Smith started in the Department in 1999 as a lecturer; became a Senior Lecturer in 2004 and Chair in 2006. Dave is an 'out' gay academic who was selected as one of the RSC's 175 Diverse Faces of Chemistry in 2014 and has won national awards for his teaching and research. Dave has given flagship lectures on the representation of LGBT scientists, a topic he has also written about in Chemistry World and discussed as part of his extensive YouTube outreach work. 

In 2010, his husband, Sam, was listed for a lung transplant, which took place successfully in January 2011. 

Dave says: "The department was very supportive in helping me spend a full month away, in the middle of teaching, with effectively no notice."

In 2014, Dave and Sam adopted a little boy, at which point Dave took 6 weeks away from work, and in December 2014, Dave came back to work 80% time.

Dave says: "The department was fully supportive of this process and helped fund a postdoctoral researcher in my laboratory to assist with group management and my small group teaching responsibilities. Furthermore, my role as Chair of Board of Studies was redeveloped as a shared administrative job (with Prof Jane Thomas-Oates - also currently 80% time)."

Dr Alison Parkin

Alison Parkin started as Anniversary Research Lecturer in 2012. 

Alison Parking with Group‌Alison says:

"I was able to very quickly settle into life at York due to help from my mentor, Dr Anne Duhme-Klair, and other colleagues in the Inorganic sub-section who offered support on both a practical level (generous help research laboratory set up, invitations to collaborate etc) and a personal level (being offered accommodation by Prof Paul Walton so I could attend an “Away Day” before moving to York, being invited to lunch every day by my new colleagues).  I now have a thriving research group which includes a number of shared students (see photo).

I have held positions on a number of important committees such as Equality and Diversity, Research Committee and the Departmental Management Team and my experience has been that the inclusivity of the committee structure reflects a genuine desire for the best ideas to be supported and for there to a be a transparent decision making policy across the Department."

Dr Laurence Abbott

Laurence Abbott has worked in the Department since 1998 in a role combining teaching, research, and research support in physical chemistry.

Laurence says:

Laurence and daughter Jessica‌"In 2011, my daughter Jessica had to be delivered 10 weeks prematurely owing to the deteriorating health of her mother.  Jessica subsequently spent 6 weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit, which tragically coincided with my wife entering into palliative care. I took some time off to adapt to my new life as a single parent, and after Jessica was allowed home, I was fortunate to find a local child minder who was willing to take her despite her young age. Owing to the circumstances, I was very keen to keep busy and return to work full time to get a sense of normality back, but was able to be flexible to fit work around Jessica’s care needs.

Jessica now spends weekdays with her child-minder and at nursery school, allowing me to continue working full time. With no family nearby, I am fully responsible for Jessica’s care and have to stay at home with her when she is suffering from the endless illnesses that small children catch. This can involve having to drop everything immediately to go and pick her up at short notice. Fortunately, the department allows me to be flexible and work around any sick days. Jessica being ill sometimes means rearranging commitments at very short notice but staff and students have always understood, even when not being aware of the full reasons.

Now being older, Jessica has several ‘adult’ friends in the department, allowing the potential for help in the future if there are problems with childcare. Jessica has joined me at several departmental social events recently such as the BBQ and Christmas drinks, meaning I can join in without the hassle of arranging additional childcare.  The departmental flexible working scheme has been crucial in these difficult times."

 Lilly Wells 

Lilly Wells started as a Chemistry PhD student in 2012 in the York Structural Biology Laboratory.

Lilly says:

Lilly Wells and family‌"I had my son in November 2014 at the end of the second year of my PhD studies, and at the time of writing I am still on maternity leave. As a PhD student having a baby, I felt my situation was a little uncommon but I was never once made to feel like an inconvenience by anyone in the Department. The level of support I received along every step of the way was above and beyond what I expected, and my supervisor was incredibly understanding and helpful.

As my situation (an industry-funded student requiring maternity arrangements) was unprecedented in the Department, and therefore outside all existing guidelines, I needed help with everything from leave and pay to childcare options. My case was dealt with on an individual basis and, very patiently, the Department devised and offered solutions to all the issues I faced.

In terms of my working life, I feel that the Department is supporting me to complete my PhD with very little disruption.  I was able to continue working, with appropriate safety arrangements, right up until I went on leave.  For my return, I have been allowed flexibility to work 4 days per week, which I feel will allow me to juggle being a mother and completing the final year of my PhD.  Although I am very much enjoying the time with my new son, I am also looking forward to returning to the lab and resuming my life as a scientist!"

 Professor Paul Walton

Photo of Paul Walton

Paul Walton started in 1993 as a lecturer, becoming professor in 1999 and Head of Department from 2004-2010.

Paul says:
"I have two children (Emma 17, Dan 20) both of whom were young as I was building my academic career and — just as importantly — acting as head of department for six years. While I have never worked part-time, the department's flexible working practices have helped me enormously in discharging (some of) my domestic duties.  

As Head of Department, I was able to work with my colleagues and build on the earlier work of my predecessor, Robin Perutz, to establish firmly good gender equality practices in the department. The going was never easy here but I got a lot of encouragement and support from not only my colleagues but also the Vice-Chancellor at the time. I remember well him taking me to one side one day and saying "I am deeply impressed by the equality work you have done and the department's Athena Swan gold award."  This was a very good example of his support and, also, the University's culture in supporting equality from top to bottom."

Professor Robin Perutz

Robin Perutz

Robin Perutz started as a lecturer in 1983, and was Head of Department from 2000-2004.

Robin says:
"Athena SWAN has changed the way I try to support women in science. As Head of Department, my plans were to support staff to do their best, to foster a collegiate atmosphere, to ensure staff were promoted, and to increase transparency. When Caroline Fox and colleagues surveyed the working practices in chemistry departments they soon signalled that what we were doing was unusual. I remember my acute embarrassment at being singled out at a meeting held at the Royal Society with several well-known women scientists. At that stage, I had no intention of plotting male/female ratios and analysing our work in the detail required by Athena SWAN. My successor, Paul Walton, ensured that we put in for Athena SWAN Awards though I helped in the applications. Now I think about the women in science aspects far more frequently than before, whether in appointments or recommendations for conference lecturers or working practices. The ideas of the AS Charter are so embedded with my colleagues that many a discussion is assessed against AS criteria.

The importance of scientific opportunities extends to my family: my son and daughter-in-law, daughter and son-in-law are all in STEM professions. 

A few years ago I became Departmental Disability Officer. Although I had no experience of disabilities, I had heard about the issues because my wife coordinated support for children with physical disabilities for the City of York. This has become a task where I address very different sorts of diversity. My wife continues to be my first port of call to work out how to approach disability issues."  

Dr Kirsty Penkman

Kirsty Penkman

Kirsty Penkman started as lecturer in 2007, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2013.

Kirsty says:
"One key aspect which is hard to articulate is the genuine embedding of equality issues in this department, which I think is so natural to us, and therefore we don't notice.  …I have never felt people's job titles are important within the AS committee (or indeed other departmental committees); the structure and ethos is such that everyone's opinions are valid and important. We all bring different experiences, and I do feel that that is genuinely reflected in the departmental organisational structure.   How on earth we put this across I don't know, but I do think it is something extremely valuable that we genuinely have in York Chemistry."

Dr Jacqui Hamilton

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Jacqui Hamilton was appointed as lecturer in the Department in 2008. She was interviewed by Prof Lucy Carpenter on her maternity leave

Jacqui returned from 9 months' maternity leave in September 2011, and now works 3 days a week whilst her son Max (now nearly 18 months old) goes to nursery.

In the last 2 months before her baby was due, Jacqui worked very hard to finalise papers and grant submissions. She was an applicant on 3 grant applications during this time, of which 2 were subsequently funded. She even submitted a grant as co-Investigator whilst on maternity leave, having written the text beforehand!

The only downside to this was handling referee reports from the submitted papers a couple of months down the line with a young baby to look after… However, the substantial effort put in has certainly paid off, although coping with research, teaching and numerous hospital visits in the last few weeks of pregnancy was no mean feat.

Whilst away, Jacqui benefitted from colleagues within the Atmospheric Chemistry group to keep an eye on research activities, with Ally Lewis managing her PhD students. Jacqui notes that one of the challenges of coming back to academic work is catching up with the rapidly changing research arena.  

Another concerns the nature of part-time working, in that it is very hard to schedule un-timetabled teaching activities (e.g. tutorials) with limited flexibility on timing. In order to give her more time to fit in her numerous responsibilities, Jacqui will start working 4 days a week from June this year. Despite the challenges, Jacqui is successfully combining parenthood and academia.

The tricks? Become (even) more efficient and organised, get used to little sleep, write grant applications at strange times, and make the most of the flexibility of academic work!

Jacqui is currently benefitting from a term's leave from administrative and teaching responsibilities after being encouraged and supported by the Department to apply for funding from the University Development Fund for Early Career Researchers.

Dr Ruth Purvis

Ruth and her children

Ruth Purvis works for the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and has been based in the department since 2008.  

She returned part time after her first maternity leave and has varied her hours since returning to work and currently works 30 hours a week.

Ruth says:
"I have had two periods of maternity leave since joining the department (Tom 3, Lucy 1) and have found the whole experience of maternity leave and returning to work very good. I found the department to be very flexible and was not worried about asking about returning part time. I returned at 3 days a week after having Lucy which I later increased to 4, which I was able to do as I work from home one morning a week.

I find a major challenge with balancing work and family. However my colleagues are supportive and I find that a nice balance has been achieved and flexibility is the key!"

 Louise Summerton

L Summerton and family

Louise Summerton has worked in the Department since 2003 and looks after the Training, Education and Networks projects and initiatives of the Green Chemistry group.

Louise says:
"Since 2008 I have had two periods of maternity leave lasting 10 months each time to care for my two children, Katie (born 2008) and Thomas (born 2010). Upon returning to work in April 2009, I began working part-time – 2.5 days a week. After my second maternity leave, I changed my working pattern again and increased my hours to three full days. From a personal perspective, I found it better to work full days rather than half-days. Getting two small children dressed, fed and ready for the day ahead and driving 17 miles to get to work is no mean feat, and it made more sense to stay for a whole day!

Initially I found it difficult to adjust to working part-time, especially due to restrictions for scheduling/attending meetings and catching up on developments from the second half of the week. Things move at a fast pace and quite often Monday mornings can feel like returning after a holiday due to the volume of emails! I now find it beneficial to check my emails intermittently from home (when the children are asleep!) which allows me to keep on top of things and act on any urgent matters.

Working part-time demands a high level of organisation skills and forward planning is essential as deadlines can approach much faster when you don’t work Thursdays and Fridays! Working part-time, although clichéd, does feel like having the ‘best of both worlds’ – I get to spend time with my children, but also apply myself to various challenges at work such as writing grant applications. I feel fortunate to have a supportive working environment which allows me to balance my responsibilities at work and at home."

External Activities

External Activities

Membership of Committees and Groups

  • Members of University of York Athena SWAN working group: Paul Walton (chair), Helen Coombs, Robin Perutz (2006-11)
  • Paul Walton is an Athena SWAN Champion and he also sits on the HEA (Ireland) review board on gender equality in Higher Education in Ireland
  • Robin Perutz is on the panel for the Royal Society's Rosalind Franklin award and is a member of the Royal Society's Diversity Committee
  • Caroline Dessent is a Friend of the Daphne Jackson Trust
  • Ambassador for European INTEGER project (Institutional Transformation for Effecting Gender Equality in Research): Paul Walton
  • Served on Athena SWAN judging panels: Paul Walton
  • Member of York Biology and Electronics equality groups: Helen Coombs

External events

January 2017

Leonie Jones
Derek Wann

'Development of a novel unconscious bias observer scheme at Chemistry@York',  at LGBT STEMinar 2017
January 2017

Paul Walton

University to Rector, staff and students at University of Freiberg, Germany
November 2016

Leonie Jones

Biophotonics North, 'Unconscious Bias in the Academic Environment', University of St Andrews
October 2016

Paul Walton

Keynote speaker at LERU conference on gender with a focus on women in STEMM, Lund, Sweden
October 2016

Paul Walton

Royal Society Diversity Conference: received Athena SWAN Runner Up award and contributed to panel discussion.
September 2016

Lucy Carpenter
Leonie Jones
Dave Smith
Paul Walton

Hosted Royal Society of Chemistry Joliot-Curie Conference 2016 at the National STEM Learning Centre
September 2016

Paul Walton

Spoke at University of Cork, Ireland. Also gave briefing to Executive Group.
June 2016

Paul Walton

Gave staff lecture at Uppsala University, Sweden
June 2016

Paul Walton

Swedish National Equality Conference, Lund, Sweden
April 2016

EDG Group

Equality and diversity discussions with School of Maths and Physical Sciences, University of Reading
April 2016

Helen Coombs

Discussions on Athena SWAN with UCL Institute of Child Health
March 2016

Paul Walton

Speaker at University of Chester on Athena SWAN
February 2016

Helen Coombs
Paul Walton
Leonie Jones

 Advice meeting on Athena SWAN submission process with the Met Office
February 2016

Paul Walton

Spoke at Technological University, Delft, The Netherlands
February 2016

Paul Walton

Attended HEA Committee on gender equality, Dublin
January 2016

Derek Wann
Dave Smith

Both attended, and Dave spoke, at the LGBT STEMinar at Sheffield
December 2015

Derek Wann

Spoke at the Athena SWAN awards ceremony
December 2015

Robin Perutz

Book review: Women scientists - Reflections, Challenges and Breaking Boundaries by Magdolna Hargittai
November 2015

Eliza Bonello

Gave presentation on 'Disability in the Workplace' to INCLUDE, the University of York's disabled staff network.
October 2015

Helen Coombs
Paul Walton

Gave advice to UCL Medical School on Athena SWAN process
October 2015 Robin Perutz Presentation at the University of Aberdeen to a general audience varying from undergraduate to University Vice Principal on "Celebrating the buzz of success: changing the ethos and Athena SWAN Gold". The discussion afterwards was at least a long as the talk.
October 2015 Eliza Bonello

Attended Westminster Emplyment Forum on "Disability in the Workplace - priorities for policy" on behalf of the University's Disabled Staff Network

October 2015 Ruth Purvis Gave advice on Athena SWAN process to the Met Office
September 2015 Caroline Dessent Talk on Athena SWAN at North East Athena SWAN meeting in York
September 2015

Leonie Jones
Dave Smith

Attended Joliot-Curie Conference 2015, Cambridge. Leonie presented a poster on Flexible Working practices and Dave gave a talk on Promoting Cultural Change. Two students (Kate Appleby, Craig Archbold) and a post-doc (Ana Campo Rodrigo) were also funded by the Department to attend the conference.
September 2015 Helen Coombs Advice to MRC Cell Biology Athena team, UCL
July 2015 Paul Walton Talk at COST Action meeting, Nanoscale Quantum Optics, Florence
July 2015 Alison Parkin

Visit to Stokesley School - gave keynote talk at the Year 11 "Science and Engineering Day", designed to promote female students' engagement with science and engineering qualifications and careers (~100 Year 11 students attended) and also spoke to 6th form science A level students.

June 2015 Paul Walton

Equality and Diversity Talk at University of Birmingham

June 2015 Paul Walton

Talk at COST Action meeting, GenderSTE, Nicosia, Cyprus

April 2015 Helen Coombs Advice to University of Newcastle on enhancing the role of women in Science and Technology
April 2015 Paul Walton Sex in Science seminars, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
March 2015 Paul Walton Talk on gender equality at University of Nijmegen, Netherlands
January 2015 Paul Walton Gender equality talk to Wellcome Trust
November 2014 Paul Walton Advice to Senior Managers Group, University of Leeds
November 2014 Emma Dux
Robin Perutz
Athena Forum, London
October 2014 Helen Coombs Advice to Equality & Diversity Unit, University of Oxford, on part-time working policy
October 2014 Paul Walton Gender Equality talks at Universities of Oxford and Huddersfield
September 2014 Ruth Purvis Symposium on 'Promoting STEM Subjects to Girls in Primary Schools', Queen's University Belfast
June 2014 Alison Parkin Keynote speaker at Stokesley School 'Science and Engineering Day' focused on enthusing Year 10 pupils about science careers. Talk and workshops with ~180 pupils.
June 2014 Paul Walton
Kate Horner
Promoting Female Excellence in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Oslo 2014: equality talk by Paul Walton; conference delegate Kate Horner
June 2014 Kirsty Penkman Represented Department at Westminster briefing on "Gender and STEM - where next for universities?"
June 2014 Paul Walton Invited (with Pratibha Gai and Dave Smith) to parliamentary event hosted by Professor Lesley Yellowlees CBE, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Valerie Vaz MP to focus on the issue of diversity in science
June 2014 Derek Wann
Catherine Foster
Athena SWAN Good Practice Workshop at Royal Society of Chemistry, London
June 2014 Paul Walton Talk on equality to senior management group, University of Limerick, Ireland
May 2014 Paul Walton GenderSTE targeted workshop, University of Rijeka, Croatia
April 2014 Sue Couling
Paul Walton
Women and Change in Higher Education conference, Durham University: keynote speaker Sue Couling; workshop given by Paul Walton
March 2014 Helen Coombs Consultation with HR/Equality & Diversity Advisor, Warwick University, on flexible working and maternity/paternity leave
March 2014 Paul Walton EU STAGES project (Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science) workshop, Brussels
March 2014 Paul Walton Athena SWAN conference on unconscious bias (keynote speaker), University of Portsmouth
February 2014 Alison Parkin Consultation with Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, on Athena SWAN management and impact at York
January 2014 Helen Coombs Hosted Athena SWAN visit from Newcastle University Chemistry Department
2014 Paul Walton Talks and seminars at inter alia: University of Leeds, Queen Mary's College London, King's College London, University of Cambridge; full details on Gender equality work webpage
2013 Paul Walton Various national and international talks and lectures: see Gender equality work webpage
June 2012 Sue Couling Hosted UKRC-WISE/GeCo National Networking meeting "Gaining senior management commitment to gender equality in HEIs"
2012 Caroline Dessent
Robin Perutz
Presentations to National Institute of Health Researchers, Senior Investigators' Meeting
2012 Sue Couling Expert on GenCo Project – A European project on Improving Gender Equality Competences of Persons Responsible for Personnel Development in Private Enterprises and Higher Education

Links

Athena SWAN links

University of York links

External resources

Articles and reports

Pay Gap