Two women talk while sitting in front of a laptop computer.

As the Faculty of Education works towards its Athena SWAN submission, the team are committed to what we are calling A Listening Project. We need to hear from anyone in the Faculty who has a view on equality: how we currently manage this and how we might better do this in the future. What do we mean by equality issues?  This includes how opportunities for promotion, research and staff development are open to all. This includes our culture as much as our policies. Here is our poster that we completed for the recent Faculty Wellbeing Research Day. 

Athena SWAN screenshot image

Methodologically we are, as a group, keen not only to look at the facts and figures relating to equality but to explore these qualitatively, we want to hear from you, as people, to understand what issues relating to equality are pertinent within the Faculty. What does equality feel like? 

For myself, with two recent experiences of maternity leave it was an obvious choice to opt for a focus on maternity (before, during and after), flexible working practices and transition after career breaks.  

I’m not sure whether this would always have been something I would have had an interest in. But as a woman I would have hoped that would have been the case. The fact is, our experiences shape us and our interest but they also channel us in certain directions. As a mum of two young daughters it now feels to me, essential, that wherever I can I choose to be proactive in contributing to positive change in any institutions that I am part of.  

I’m writing this just after International Women’s Day on March 8th and having attended a wonderful @WomenEdSE conference the day before where I had a chance to listen to some fantastically positive and successful women speakers. Women Ed is a grass roots movement which grew out of women in education talking, giving each other support and collaboratively addressing issues of inequity and inequality in schools, colleges and universities. Now with more than 30,000 twitter followers across the world, women are talking and listening to each other.  

Saturday’s event reminded me of just how important women are in the workplace and the importance of ensuring that our Faculty is one that facilitates us in making the biggest and best possible contributions we can. Please do think about getting involved. I’d love to hear from you. 

So, stand by for news on our focus groups and how you can get more involved in the next few weeks and months.  

Katie Clemmey 

Faculty of Education Athena Swan Self Assessment Team 

Further reading

Athena SWAN Charter

Athena SWAN at Christ Church