2013-06-11   facebook twitter rss
Vet School Recognised for Encouraging Women in Academia

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary studies has become the first veterinary school to receive an award that highlights excellence in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in higher education.

The Athena SWAN award focuses specifically on opportunities for women in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in academia.

Athena SWAN award

from left Catherine Eastwood, Dame Julia Higgins (giving the award) and Professor Anna Meredith

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh was presented with a Departmental Bronze Level award at an event held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 6th June.

The awards are granted for a three-year-period and the University of Edinburgh also received a renewal of its Institutional Bronze Award, recognising its solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

Professor Anna Meredith, who chaired the Athena SWAN submission on behalf of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R(D)SVS), attended the awards ceremony with Cat Eastwood, the human resources campus manager for the R(D)SVS and The Roslin Institute at Easter Bush.

"As a vet and working mother who has had to balance the demands of an academic and clinical career with family commitments, as do so many of my professional colleagues, I was delighted to lead this successful submission for a Bronze Award," said Professor Meredith.

"Although there are increasing numbers of women entering the veterinary profession and female undergraduates and recent graduates now outnumber men, there is still a 'leaky pipeline' in the progression of women through to more senior and professorial roles in the academic sector of the profession. The Dick Vet has demonstrated and been recognised for its clear commitment to gender equality and support for career development and progression for women, and has embraced and embedded the Athena SWAN principles, which will benefit all staff - men and women alike."

Practices to encourage career opportunities - highlighted in the action plan lodged as part of the submission for the award - include a compulsory appraisal processes, in which career aspirations and progression can be addressed. The action plan also looks at workload modelling, relevant training courses, promotion of family friendly policies and a new staff mentoring scheme.

The Athena SWAN Charter is committed to the advancement of the careers of women in science and aims to address gender inequalities and tackle the unequal representation of women in science, particularly in senior and management roles.

The transition from PhD level into a sustainable academic career in science is recognised as a particular hurdle, resulting in a high loss rate of women to the profession.

University of Edinburgh

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