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Women in Science

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Video clip: Jennifer explains that Athena SWAN has encouraged departments to introduce Personal Development Review for all staff. Part of Jennifer’s role is also to organise a new divisional wide mentoring scheme.

The main thing is staff, all departments now have a Personal Development Review for staff, an annual review for them, which is a big thing and it’s something that the department have worked really hard to do. And again have made sure it’s not just for research staff, it’s for all members of staff. So it’s just an opportunity for people to sit down with their line manager, talk about what they’ve done the past year, what they’re going to do the next year. What training opportunities they want. Which again seems; it might just be an hour out of the year, but I think it just provides an opportunity for you to talk to your line manager about what you want from your career.

When you say ‘we’, are you talking about the Medical Sciences Division?

Yes, Medical Sciences Division. I think other divisions are considering doing it but I don’t have, I don’t have the data on it. But I know for sure that all the departments in the Medical Sciences Division now have a PDR system in place for all members of staff.

So that’s two good things.


Meetings are within normal hours, working hours. People are having regular reviews. Is there anything else that you think has changed?

Gosh, it, it varies a lot between various departments, I’ll be perfectly honest. So some departments, like Primary Care, have a Silver Athena SWAN award and so they’re kind of further along the process than other departments. So it really, it really does range; a lot of it, some of the activities that are directed just at research staff are to do, like career seminars, women in science seminars. Trying to improve the role models of the women in their own department and across the University as well.

Some of the departments have started mentoring schemes haven’t they?

Yes. So there is a divisional wide mentoring scheme actually that I am, which is part of my role is to, to do that. So again that’s another thing that’s come out of Athena SWAN is having mentoring.

How’s that going do you think?

It’s going really well. So there was a pilot programme across six departments and we had about sixty mentees in mentoring circles and the feedback’s been really positive. People have really valued it.

Good. Have you had enough people offering to be mentors?

Oh yes, absolutely. We’ve not had a shortage of mentors.

That’s good.