Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

Athena SWAN Inspiring Women 2 - Inspiring Everyone

The packed meeting lived up to its name, and was genuinely inspiring, as well as being a fitting way to celebrate the university’s Silver Athena SWAN award: June 2016

IGMM equality and diversity

The second “Inspiring Women: Inspiring Everyone” meeting, organised by the Athena SWAN committee for the clinical medical school, was held on May 31st at QMRI. The event had an outstanding programme, attracting such eminent speakers as Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Professor Tom Welton of Imperial College, and had a range of talks from local speakers at different career stages. We also heard from Linda Holliday about the MRC’s efforts to promote gender equality in the awards process.

Some suggestions made by speakers as a way to improve conditions were well worth considering. These ranged from finding ways to handle the large amount of time that can be needed in the run-up to adoption, to considering honorary appointments for people coming to the end of a contract (so that they have a professional address that can be used when applying for other posts). One favourite suggestion came from Tom Welton who said that in his department, rather than having farewell parties they have “hello” parties for new academic appointments. These are preceded by a talk from the appointee about the work they plan to do, and the local collaborations they hope to embark on. Or of course one could have farewell *and* hello parties.