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Women in Science

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Video clip: Maggie thinks that Athena SWAN is creating a lot of hard work and is too formulaic. She wonders how much real change has been achieved.

Athena SWAN.


Have you been involved with that?

I was in York but I haven’t really been involved much here. It’s one of things I’ve kind of, we’ve had our own women’s initiatives here in College and I’ve done the surveys and things. Obviously I give my input to psychology, but no, not really at Oxford.

And the department of experimental psychology, has that got a bronze or a silver award?

I think it’s bronze.

Have you got any views about Athena SWAN?

Too bureaucratic. We were Silver in York and we lost it, we went down to Bronze, and it was for some ridiculously bureaucratic thing. I don’t think, I mean I’m not, I think it’s too formulaic in a way. It’s very hard, I mean women have very different views over how, how the situation at work should be handled. I think it’s a very individual thing.

So my own view on, for instance on, policies like having seminars at lunchtime is, rather than at four o’clock or something, is that it doesn’t help, because women who are at the point in their career where they are trying to combine motherhood and work and are research active and have lots of commitments will work through their lunch hour. They won’t go to the colloquium. They wouldn’t go to it at four o’clock either. So I think those kinds of things, I think it’s just, it’s superficial. I mean I don’t know if anyone’s done the exercise of taking a register and see what difference it makes. I think it would be marginal.