Sticking up for STEM women

Posted by Rosalind Kemp on 23 June 2015

Studies show that women leave academic research in larger numbers than men, and are poorly represented at higher academic levels. Initiatives like Athena SWAN has been set up to address the problem, but if you're a female researcher there are other sources of support out there for you too. One example is STEM Women.

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Topics: STEM, Diversity

Women in Academia

Posted by Rosalind Kemp on 4 June 2015

The Institute of Physics has recently published a report with the Royal Astronomical Society, Gazing at the Future. Kate Murray, Careers Consultant to the Graduate School, King’s College London attended the launch and is sharing what she learnt with us on Reach:

The report looks at the experiences of male and female physics and astronomy researchers during their PhDs and their expectations of whether or not they will enter academia after the PhD.

The stats in the report make pretty depressing reading: female doctoral students rate the overall experience of their doctorate lower than their male peers; and the proportion of female doctoral students happy with their doctorate is on average 7% lower than for male doctoral students. Only just over 55% of female doctoral students across all years of study agree that they would make good research scientists (70% of male students overall would agree).

Particularly stark was the finding that 48% of female students, in their final year, envisage that they might have a university role in 3-5 years' time, compared with 65% of male students.

The report suggests reasons behind these stats, including the issue of a lack of role models (thus reinforcing unconscious bias amongst recruiters and setting an unconscious bar on ambition on the part of candidates).

It doesn't seem to me, though, that physics and astronomy are particularly alone in these findings. While efforts such as Athena SWAN and the Equality Charter Mark, as well as initiatives by individual universities such as the fantastic photos of female professors in the Strand building, all help to promote academia as a welcoming place for women, the conversations I have with female researchers across all subjects point to structural issues around the competition for grants and working culture that are off-putting. In fairness, they are often off-putting to men looking for work/life balance too.

What to do? Find resilience, set examples, seek good advice, take opportunities. Find a mentor, find a 'supporter' (someone who actively looks for opportunities for you), and don't be pigeon-holed. Think about protecting your self-esteem and promoting your self-confidence. And retain a love for research.

Image (example of simulated data modeled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider) by CERN used under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Topics: STEM, Diversity, Postgraduate study

An interview with Liz Dawes, Trust Officer at City Disabilities

Posted by Phil Howe on 13 May 2015

City Disabilities is a charity set up to provide support and advice for students and professionals with disabilities, as well as employers. We caught up with their Trust Officer Liz Dawes to find out more about the Charity and get her advice for students.

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Topics: Diversity, law

Paid Arts & Media Internships

Posted by Rosalind Kemp on 8 May 2015

We've recently added a large number of paid internships in the arts and media sectors aimed at different groups who face barriers to employment.

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Topics: Diversity, Jobs and Internships, creative industries

LGBT inclusion in the Global Workplace

Posted by MartinBrown on 1 May 2015

As businesses compete for talent, expand into new markets and accelerate innovation, diversity and inclusiveness is a source of competitive advantage.

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Topics: Diversity, Business and Finance, Fairs and Events

All the Techie ladies

Posted by DeenaLamelaPanthaky on 16 March 2015

Here is a good news story, it shows that positive change is possible and it needn't even take that long. Technology has long been a male dominated environment, but they have also been an industry that has been one of the most proactive in taking action to remedy the dire previous gender split, and are now reaping the benefits. It is also worth celebrating, as this progressive industry is also a fast growing sector which means the changes are here to stay and likely to benefit a wider number of people as time goes on

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Topics: STEM, Diversity, Business and Finance

International Women's Day

Posted by DeenaLamelaPanthaky on 6 March 2015

Did you know International Women's Day was yesterday? Well there were a number of interesting and engaging events taking place, highlighting serious issues affecting women across the world.

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Topics: STEM, Diversity

Ticking the Diversity box

Posted by Louise Honey on 25 February 2015

Our last post focussed on the lack of diversity seen during awards season, and this is really a follow on from that, looking at current media and the small screen and whether the shows we are presented with represent the diverse societies in which we live.

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Topics: Diversity, creative industries

Awards Season and Diversity

Posted by Louise Honey on 18 February 2015

 

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Topics: Diversity, creative industries

Diversity Roundup - October

Posted by Rosalind Kemp on 31 October 2014

 

Here's a summary of the news, blog posts and careers information we’ve come across in the last month that we thought may be of interest to you.

Find more news and events on the Reach website.

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Topics: STEM, Diversity, law, Business and Finance, Fairs and Events

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