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Women in Science

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Video clip: Alison feels a bit cynical about Athena SWAN. She thinks that initially it was useful but she worries that may become a ‘box ticking exercise’.

I’m a bit cynical about Athena SWAN. I think it started off as a really good thing but the problem now is that it’s been tied to funding. I guess this is to ensure compliance and to ensure that higher education institutions and hospitals and so on take this seriously. So tied to NHS funding certainly and I think probably the research councils will inexorably follow suit. The department has to have Athena SWAN accreditation. And that means that if it has to be got then it will be got by whatever means. And I think that then turns what could be quite a useful exercise into a box ticking exercise. So I think it creates a huge amount of administration in the department.