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Women in Science

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Video clip: Fran thinks that men are more likely to be self-promoting than women and that the data should made available to make sure that women are treated equally.

Men are much, much more likely to be self-promoting than women and I think that that translates into a much more rapid career progression than women and I think we can’t encourage junior women into this system unless we can guarantee parity and fairness, and to do that we have to have a mechanism.

Who’s usually responsible for the promotion trajectories, is it heads of department or a committee at the top of the department?

It’s very, it’s very ad hoc. For people within my lab, a lot of it’s down to myself making a case for why somebody should be promoted and often somebody will say, you know, this, this is something that we tried to put in place a couple of years ago, for me it’s very useful to have a snapshot of my lab…


...on a graph so that I can see actually there’s a real discrepancy with that person, or you know, that person’s been stuck at the top of that grade for a long time. And it reminds me that when we are putting in for new grants that we can have an increment built in or that we can promote somebody between grades.


When you’re at more senior end of things, there are promotions committees, how they work, how they decide certain, you know, scale points, salary points is a complete black box. And I think that there needs to be transparency at that level, and there has to be a really careful look at the statistics and the data, so that we have an evidence based system. You know we’re all scientists, in, you know, the medical sciences division. We need to have a scientific data led, you know, if you prove to me that everybody’s being treated equally, great. But let’s see the data that supports that.

And I think having that much more transparently on websites and available. So that when people are recruited to the University, they know that there are mechanisms in place for parity, and I think that we should be able to achieve that.