Department for Health: Equality & Diversity

Documenting our journey towards equal opportunities

Posts By: Cassandra Phoenix

Become a Soapbox Scientist!

📥  Uncategorized

We are currently recruiting speakers for our Soapbox Science Bristol Summer 2017 event.
We would like to ask if any of your would be interested being a Soapbox Scientist this summer, in Bristol. If so, we would love to hear from you.
What's Soapbox Science? Take a look at our video

Who can apply to be a speaker? Any woman who is an active scientist - from PhD student to professor, academic, research institute or industry. And 'science' includes the full STEMM (Science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine)

Why should I want to be a Soapbox Scientist? Because you're an amazing woman in science in the UK; because you conduct awesome science that you are burning to share with the public; because you care about the issues facing women in science and want to make a public stand for the visibility of the current and future generations of female scientists.

What's in it for me? Local Training; from your Bristol team; be part of a growing network of Soapbox Scientists across the UK; career development; the potential for local, national and even international press coverage of you and your work support from one of our sponsors.

How do I apply? Application process is really easy - it's an online form, one per event. Just pick your location, and you're done in about 5 mins! The deadline for applications the 24th of February.

If you would like any further information, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Emily Bell
(on behalf of the Soapbox Science Team)


January's Top 5 Countdown

📥  Uncategorized

In true Top-Of-The-Pops style, here is this months countdown on what's been rocking the Equality and Diversity charts this month (the Athena SWAN genre):

Non-mover at number FIVE is the BMJ research paper confirming our suspicions that gender equity programmes have the potential to address inequity, yet can also unintentionally reproduce and reinforce gender inequity through their enactment. Potential programme impacts may be undermined by barriers to staff availing of career development and training initiatives, and by wider institutional practices, national policies and societal norms.

New entry at FOUR is our developing relationship with the University Research Staff Working Group. The group seeks to improve the working practices, skill levels, job satisfaction and career management of researchers in order to recruit, retain and get optimal performance out of the best possible research staff. If this is you, or if you line manage research staff:

  • Bookmark their webpage,
  • Contact the faculty rep Phillip Brooker with any questions or comments you may have,
  • Familiarise yourself with key information aimed at Research Staff within the University.
  • Watch this space for more initiatives within the Department that will support you in your role.

THREE cheers for the Research Committee who are working to ensure that some of the most interesting, excellent female and male scientists get to take centre stage in our Department Seminar Series. The importance of having regular access to a range of different (positive!) role models within our field is not to be underestimated. If you're looking for inspiration, ideas, or just fancy learning something new and seeing where it takes you, look out for email updates from the brilliant Emma D.

TWO (or more!) heads can be better than one... and that's exactly why we're strongly encouraging each and every staff member, regardless of your career stage, to get out there and find yourself a mentor through the University Mentoring Scheme. Have a chat with Fiona Gillison (department co-ordinator) if you have any questions about the scheme.

And at number ONE is the launch of our 'Health fortnightly coffee and catch-up'. It was great to see so many staff and students from across the Department break out of the office, lab, library, class room (and in some instances other committee meetings!) to be there on the 11th January. What a great opportunity to introduce yourself to people you've never quite got around to speaking with, learning what our fantastic bunch of PhD students are all up to, and generally catching-up with people who you might not have seen since last year (haha - see what I did there?).


These will continue to be held on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month 10:30 - 11am in the Level 5 communal area.

Bring your own drink ... and any tasty treats that you'd like to test out on your colleagues.


Actions Speak Louder than Words

📥  Uncategorized

The process of applying for the Bronze Athena Swan award provided us with an opportunity to identify key areas where we would like to see change within our department. On the surface, these can be interpreted as actions exclusively orientated toward gender equity, but they are more than that. As a department, we're aspiring to be more inclusive, more engaged with publics beyond the University, recognise the various contributions that every member of the department is making to ensure Health @ Bath is a vibrant, stimulating, welcoming and supportive place to be. This applies to staff and students who are here at the moment, but it's also relevant to those who might be thinking of joining us in the future.

There's much to be done. We know things aren't perfect. But there's a growing number of people within the Dept. and across the University that are committed to seeing change.


Below are the action points that we have previously identified as being crucial for this.

  1. Raise awareness of gender equity principles within Health and contribute to change within sector.
  2. Create inclusive culture and improve external identity through engagement.
  3. Achieve gender equity in senior staff roles through supporting career progression and recruitment.
  4. Enhance the career development of research staff to address the loss of women.
  5. Recognise contribution of professional staff to Dept. activities and enhance career opportunities.
  6. Increase representation of female students in taught programmes as leaders in the sport & health sector.
  7. Enhance doctoral experience and career opportunities for female PGR students.

We have specific activities planned that will help us to address each of these actions, but are very keen to continue hearing your ideas. The 'Champions for Change' within the Department will soon be announced. In the meantime you are welcome to email me or slip a note under my office door (1 West 3.117).


Department for Health Receive Bronze Athena SWAN Award!

📥  Uncategorized


We did it!

Many congratulations to all involved in helping to create equity across the department. Our efforts have been acknowledged by Athena Swan who earlier this year presented us with a bronze award. Our application for the award was commended on a number of specific points, including:

  • The range of career stages represented on the Departmental Self-Assessment Team.
  • Recognition in the need to engage men as agents of change.
  • Time and funding support for Aurora participation.
  • Appointments for cover of maternity leave.
  • A number of processes to support career development, particularly the Annual Research Funding Account.

Following this fantastic achievement, Simone Fullager will be stepping down from her role as department lead, passing the baton on to Cassandra Phoenix. We are in the process of forming our new Athena Swan Implementation Committee (ASIC), who will be responsible for implementing the action plan proposed as part of our application for the bronze award, along with addressing wider Equality and Diversity issues across the department.

Stay tuned for introductions!