Athena SWAN seminar: towards gender equity

British scientist and writer Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE shared her personal journey in science and research in a keynote address at the University of Melbourne’s Athena SWAN seminar on Monday 28 November.

Baroness Susan Greenfield

Baroness Susan Greenfield.

Athena SWAN is a charter initiative that began in the United Kingdom with a mission to progress the participation of women involved in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine in universities, recognising that academic knowledge will only progress with a diverse, inclusive workforce.

Last year, the University of Melbourne became one of 40 organisations to participate in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot program of Athena SWAN in Australia, led by Professor Marilys Guillemin – Director of the Centre for Health and Society in the School of Population and Global Health and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Professor Guillemin, Early Career Researcher Dr Claudia Marck and Professor Leann Tilley – Georgina Sweet Fellow from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – also presented at the seminar before joining Baroness Greenfield on a Q+A panel.

Bringing the seminar to a close, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Professor Shitij Kapur spoke about working towards achieving an Athena Swan Institutional Award. This process involves in-depth data collection and analysis to examine an institution’s policies, practices and workplace culture to identify and act upon key issues, gaps and opportunities affecting gender equity and diversity.

View a video of the seminar below.