25th September 2014, 2:29pm
University achieves Athena SWAN Bronze Award
Athena SWAN Bronze Award The University of Lincoln has been recognised for its commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEMM academia by achieving its Bronze Award as part of the Athena SWAN Charter.

With recent research showing that men in the UK are six times more likely than women to work in science-related careers, the University of Lincoln pledged to ‘create a level playing field for all’ and develop employment practices to advance the representation, plus further and support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said: “I am delighted that the University of Lincoln has been recognised for its commitment to combating the underrepresentation of women in these vital subjects, while providing the correct mechanisms to advance the careers of women in STEMM research and academia. We have begun an organisational and cultural transformation that makes a real difference for women and enables all staff to achieve their maximum potential.”

The committee which spearheaded the University’s application for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award was led by Belinda Colston, Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the School of Chemistry.

She said: “The issue of women’s under-representation in science has become one of increasing concern over recent years. Although the number of women with STEMM qualifications is growing, women working in STEMM academia remain a minority – especially in top positions. This gender disparity represents a quantifiable loss to the economy and society, and has an impact on individuals, departments and institutions. The need to grow this sector to drive economic recovery has been well-recognised by the UK government. Essential to this growth, will be the realisation of the full potential of the STEMM research base, whose excellence depends upon maximising the talents and skills of its highly-qualified people.”

The University created the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Group (WISE@Lincoln) to develop and coordinate a range of supportive initiatives across the University. These include the Charlotte Angas Scott Fellowship to encourage more postdoctoral women in the fields of engineering and computer science; The Returners’ Research Fund which enables our female scientists to plan and sustain their research activities either during or after maternity leave; and the Back to Science Research Associates that offer opportunities for scientists to get back into research after extended career breaks.

The Be Inspired! lecture series is also ongoing, attracting world-leading female scientists to Lincoln to discuss their research. Speakers have included Professor Lesley J Yellowlees, the first female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to science and a CBE in 2014 for services to chemistry, Dr Dawnie Steadman, the Director of the Forensic Anthropology Centre (FAC) at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, US, and Dr Araxi Urrutia from the University of Bath, a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow and L’Oreal-UNESCO UK Women in Science Fellow.

For more information on WiSE and its wider activities go to wise.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk