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Women in Science

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Video clip: Helen suggests that Athena SWAN has increased awareness of work- life balance for women and men.

Now I’m sure you’re aware of Athena SWAN, were you involved with your department’s application for that?

Yes, I’ve been a bit involved in that, and obviously, you know, Athena SWAN has, has been a force for good, in that it’s provided us structure and obviously an incentive and reward system whereby people can positively address some of the factors, or some of the barriers that women face. And I think what it’s done is increased awareness, and I think it’s helped people to try and think about, so, you know, if there is a problem with women disproportionately dropping out at senior levels, which I think there is, then why is that and what can we do about it? You know, what can we do to try and redress this? And I think it’s, but I think ideally this should be seen as not really just for women. This should be for men as well because, you know, the ideal is that things like Athena SWAN and, and all these sort of gender equality initiatives actually redress the balance for men and women, so that men and women can, can be free to do what they want and get a, a greater work/life balance. And for some people that does mean that, you know, the male will take on a more traditional role and the woman will take on a less career focussed role. But for many couples it will mean that they both pursue their, their careers in parallel and juggle things at home as well. And I think there’s no right solution for, for, for everyone and I think you have to find what’s right for you.