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Women in Science

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Video clip: Alison says that Athena SWAN has changed the landscape.

To what extent do you think women now have the same sort of opportunities as men working in your field?

Mm-hm. [laughs] I think it’s different, and I think in some ways there’s more opportunities now. I think Athena SWAN has definitely changed the landscape. Is it for the better? In some ways, ‘yes,’ in some ways, ‘no’. Before if I got somewhere, I got somewhere on my own merit because I did something. Now you might say, ‘Am I getting somewhere because they need a “quota woman” or they need to have more senior women?’ And it makes the achievements slightly less sweet, if that makes sense, because I think sometimes you just slightly wonder whether you’re, you’re of value now in a way in that you wouldn’t have been before. But on the other hand you get a lot more opportunities. I think there’s more understanding of, ‘it’s alright to have a family.’ I think there was a generation where if you wanted to be a woman and succeed it really was career or family. I think that has changed.