OWN newsletter

The OWN newsletter is published every two weeks during term time and once a month during vacation. It is a compilation of events, news and achievements relating to gender equality and women at Oxford.

OWN newsletter, Thursday 24 May

If you have items that you would like to include in future issues, or to subscribe (Oxford email addresses only), please email: gender.equality@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Events and exhibitions

Science in Australia Gender Equity pilot of Athena SWAN and Male Champions of Change

Dr Pavel Ovseiko (Radcliffe Department of Medicine) will introduce talks by Dr Megan Osmond and Kerry Elliott from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). CSIRO is an independent Australian federal government research agency participating in two key Government funded initiatives: the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, and the Male Champions of Change (MCC) STEM. CSIRO was in the first tranche of the pilot and submitted its application for a SAGE Athena SWAN Bronze Award in March 2018. Dr Megan Osmond will describe the approach CSIRO took in developing its application and SAGE Action Plan, challenges along the way, and key early outcomes arising from the work. The Male Champions of Change (MCC) strategy is a global coalition of men advocating for gender equality. Kerry Elliott will describe the actions, achievements and impact of the MCC STEM group and CSIRO’s approach to supporting males to step up and lead gender initiatives.

There will be time for questions and networking during this event. All are welcome and refreshments will be available. Registration is required

Date: Tuesday 5 June

Time: 2.00-4.00pm

Venue: Main Seminar Room, Department of Biochemistry, South Parks Road

In Two Places at Once: The Impact of Caring Responsibilities on Academics' Conference Participation

In Two Places at Once is a small-scale, exploratory study which aims to explore how academics' caring responsibilities intersect with their attendance of and participation in conferences. The symposium includes:

  • A presentation to share the findings and recommendations from the project, where the project report and briefing documents will be launched.
  • A panel where academics with caring responsibilities discuss their experiences of attending conferences.
  • An interactive workshop session to consider how to translate the recommendations into action.
  • A discussion panel where representatives from academic associations and higher education institutions respond to the issues that arise from the earlier sessions.

For further details and registration see: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ces/research/current/twoplaces/dissemination

Date: Tuesday 12 June

Time: 11.00am-3.30pm

Venue: OC0.01 (Oculus Building), University of Warwick, Coventry

Career Pathways for Women in STEM

This event is a unique forum for inspiring female role models, who have used a science degree to underpin their careers, to share their employment experiences and challenges to date. Speakers will be well-established professionals and eminent academics representing a diverse range of disciplines; from science policy and academia to entrepreneurship and engineering. Recent graduates will also talk about the challenges faced to make their early career choices.

Open to all undergraduates and postgraduates, this is an exciting opportunity to network, ask questions and engage with fellow students in a supportive environment. Travel costs to/from London will need to be covered by the individual. If you have any difficulty funding your own travel please email shazeaa.ishmael@lincoln.ox.ac.uk

Registration is required.

Date: Tuesday 12 June

Time: 11.00am-6.00pm

Venue: Institute of Physics, 80 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT

Sappho to Suffrage: Women Who Dared

Pirates and poets, suffragettes and explorers - this exhibition celebrates the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected. Sappho to Suffrage showcases some of the Bodleian's most remarkable and treasured items. Admission free. No booking required.

Date: Tuesday 6 March onwards (runs until February 2019)

Time: Monday to Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm, Sunday 11.00am-5.00pm

Venue: Treasury, Weston Library, Broad Street


Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Awards

The inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Awards were celebrated on 8 May. The Awards were designed as an opportunity to celebrate and learn from inspiring work on equality and diversity that is happening throughout the University and colleges. A total of ten individuals and eleven projects were nominated for awards across four categories. To read about them see: www.ox.ac.uk/vc-diversity. If you would like to receive copies of the Diversity Awards booklet, email diversity.awards@admin.ox.ac.uk

New package of support for carers

An estimated 1 in 9 people of working age are caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Caring responsibilities are likely to affect 3 in 5 of us at some point in our working lives and can arise at any time, without warning, and be temporary or long term. The University has therefore developed a new package of support to help those who have to balance work and caring responsibilities, including:

  • An institutional statement of support – setting out that the University recognises that caring is widespread, important and that carers may need support;
  • Additional annual leave – the option to ‘buy’ up to 10 additional days of annual leave, through a salary sacrifice to help spread the cost;
  • Temporary flexible working – expanding the flexible working scheme to allow requests for temporary flexible working arrangements;
  • Short-term unpaid leave – up to four weeks’ unpaid leave per year, mirroring statutory parental leave;
  • Career break – from 1 to 12 months’ unpaid leave;
  • Fertility treatment leave – 2 days’ paid leave, in addition to leave for medical treatment;
  • Clarification of emergency leave provisions – explaining when it can be used and setting a cap of 5 days per 12 months.

A new ‘Support for Carers’ website outlining all of this support and more will be launched during National Carers Week (11-15 June).


Returning Carers Fund

The University’s Returning Carers Fund is a small-grants scheme to support women and men who have taken a break of at least six months for caring responsibilities to re-establish their research careers. The scheme is open to all members of academic and research staff employed by the University, including those holding joint appointments, but excluding those who have achieved full professorial title or who hold statutory chairs. Those currently on leave can apply for support on their return to work. The grants will pay for a range of activities, such as short-term administrative or research assistance, teaching buy-outs, conference attendance, visits of research collaborators and training in new research methods. The Hilary term call for applications is now open, with applications to be submitted by Friday 25 May.

For further information on how to apply, click here.

Nominations open: Inspiring and Innovating Science Awards

Nature Research and The Estée Lauder Companies have launched two global awards to celebrate women in science around the world. The Inspiring Science Award honours female scientists who have excelled in scientific discovery and have completed their PhD within the last ten years. The Innovating Science Award recognises an individual or an organisation that has led a grassroots initiative to support increased access to, or interest in, STEM subjects for girls and women around the globe.

The winners of the awards will be announced in October. Both winners will receive up to $10,000 to spend on initiatives linked to the award and free training from Nature Masterclasses. The Inspiring Science Award winner will also receive grants of up to $5,200 to support open access publication of their research in a Springer Nature journal, and the Innovating Science Award winner will receive up to $5,200 to support events related to their initiative.

For further information click here. The deadline for nominations is Monday 11 June.

Diversity Fund 2017-18

Applications to the 2018-19 round of the University's Diversity Fund, providing small grants to support projects that promote equality and diversity, are now open.

Total funding of £70,000 is available for the academic year 2018-19 and it is anticipated that four or five projects will receive funding. Bids are welcome in respect of any area of equality and diversity, but priority will be given to those that:

•     Contribute to institutional and/or divisional objectives.

•     Demonstrate breadth of impact and/or the scope for good practice to be applied more widely.

•     Address challenges in new ways.

•     Demonstrate how the impact of the project will be sustained beyond the initial funding period.

The Diversity Fund is open to all staff at the University, and the application process is simple.

Find out more about the Fund’s criteria and download an application form on the Diversity Fund webpage: www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/inpractice/df

The closing date for applications is Monday 25 June.

Articles and resources

Gender Pay Gap Report 2018

The University has published its first report on average male and female earnings and the work under way to narrow the gap. The report shows a median pay gap of 13.7% between women and men, a consequence of the lack of women in senior roles across Oxford. It also reiterates that the University is committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality and is tackling the gap as a priority issue.

Mid-career Academic Women and the Prestige Economy

Drawing on 30 semi-structured interviews with women academics based in London higher education institutions in the UK, this paper investigates the gendered nature of the prestige economy in academia. It explores how mid-career academic women strategise their career development and the opportunities and barriers they perceive, particularly in relation to the accrual of academic esteem. The analysis draws on the concept of prestige, or the indicators of esteem that help advance academic careers, against the backdrop of a higher education context which increasingly relies on quantitative data to make judgements about academic excellence. The interviews indicated that women generally feel that men access status and indicators of esteem more easily than they do. Many women also had ambivalent feelings about gaining recognition through prestige: they understood the importance of status and knew the ‘rules of the game’, but were critical of these rules and sometimes reluctant to overtly pursue prestige. The findings are valuable for understanding how women’s slow access to the highest levels of higher education institutions is shaped by the value that organisations place on individual status.