The annual departmental Athena SWAN event took place on 30th June. Professor Alison Rodgers, University of Warwick, presented a short lecture on how to achieve a Silver Award in a Chemistry Department. There were also round table discussions where everyone contributed to future Departmental actions. Postdoctoral, academic and support staff as well as PhD students were invited and represented in the event.
The first All Staff meeting took place. Previously only academic staff and representatives of postdoctoral researchers, support staff and students were invited. Our objective was to make decision making and communication in the department much more transparent, so that everyone is involved and feels included.
A new mentoring scheme for postdoctoral researchers was introduced, following a workshop in January where the benefits of mentoring were discussed. The idea is for the postdoctoral researchers to have someone who can offer advice and who can discuss, in confidence, things such as general progress and career planning. Mentors are academic or academic-related staff different from their supervisors.
Paul Cullis was awarded the International Women’s Day Prize for Promoting Gender Equality in the University along with Henrietta O’Connor. Paul became Chair of the Faculty of Science Equal Opportunities Committee in 1998 and began his long involvement with equality and diversity, and in particular gender equality. He championed the Aurora Leadership initiative, the Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship scheme and the HeForShe campaign. Congratulations Paul!
The Chemistry department organised two training sessions in "Equality and Diversity" and "Unconscious bias" for all their postdoctoral, academic and support staff on 13th January. The training sessions were very well attended. We discussed why should we care about Unconscious Bias at the workplace and how to manage it.