University of warwick

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Notes from the Athena Network Group

Held on

Monday 6th October 2014
Present: Sandra Beaufoy, Elizabeth Blagrove, Anna Burchfiel, Sue Burrows, Oliver Cooper, Jennifer Henderson, Sara Kalvala, Wilfrid Kendall, Judith Klein, Claire Martin, Charlotte Moonan, Kate Thomas, Sunita Palmer, James Smith, Lila Tennant,

Apologies: Joanna Collingwood, Mia Khan, Naila Rabanni, Sandy Sparks, Katherine Branch, Anna Burchfiel, Susan Burrows, Sam Cole, Rachel Corke, Ann Dixon, Vanessa Goodship, Amy Hamson, Wilfrid Kendall, Judith Klein, Richard Moffatt, Anne O’Rourke, Nav Patel, Alison Rodger, Julia Smith, Orkun Soyer, Charikleia Tzanakou, Leonie Walls, Peter Winstanley, Annie Young

  1. Matters arising

No Matters arising. Minutes approved for 4th September 2014

  1. Recent Athena SWAN Awards

REPORTED: (by S Beaufoy)

  1. Congratulations to Computer Science who have been successful in achieving a Bronze Athena award

  2. All 10 STEMM departments at Warwick have now achieved at least a Bronze Athena award, making Warwick only one of three institutions to achieve this.

(c)Life Sciences is the only department intending to make a submission in the Athena November deadline round. Psychology are planning to submit for an award in April 2015. (d) Athena now have 116 member institutions. Research Institutions were invited to take part in a pilot designed specifically for research institutions not affiliated with HEIs. 6 research institutions subsequently received Athena awards. Athena awareness is growing and has also now expanded to Ireland,.

  1. ECU are developing a new comprehensive guide to Athena submissions which will include an appeals process. Panellist training will also be introduced.

  2. The submission form is also being modified, however ECU will accept submissions on both the old and new forms for a limited period.

  3. ECU will be providing updated benchmarking data through their Athena web pages:

  1. Progress on Departmental Action Plans

  1. Psychology

REPORTED: (by L Blagrove)

  1. New Head of Department will be starting in January 2015 who is very proactive towards Athena, a meeting will be arranged in the near future to discuss progress and future plans.

  1. Computer Science

REPORTED: (by S Kavala)

  1. Acknowledged that they had just received news of their Bronze award, they have a new Head of Department who is very positive about Athena and keen to work on their action plan.

  2. Highlighted that they have encountered problems with data collection for recruitment and was unsure whose responsibility it was to collect the data. There have been a number of inconstancies in the data provided to them from the centre.

RESOLVED: (by S Beaufoy)

These issues have been fed back to the centre and whilst we try and rectify the problem we would encourage departments to collect and monitor their own recruitment data.

  1. Life Sciences:

REPORTED: (C Moonan)

  1. New Head of Department who is very engaged in the Athena work and they are

anticipating submitting for their silver award in November 2014.

  1. Warwick Medical School

REPORTED: (by S Palmer)

  1. Welfare Strategy group meetings continue to take place once per month

  2. They have launched their maternity returner review and now the Dean meets all returners.

  3. They will be shortly launching a leavers checklist and online questionnaire, the response will be reviewed by HR

  4. Confirmed that a temporary room has been allocated for first aid/breast feeding in A129, there will be a permanent facility once building development work finishes.

  5. At the next meeting they will be revisiting their Outreach activities programme

  1. Physics

REPORTED: (S Burrows)

  1. Recently attended a Athena and Juno awards ceremony

  2. Currently monitoring their seminar speakers, this has showed a steady increase in female speakers and will be producing an annual report

  3. 2 first year Undergraduate Students this year have been recruited through their widening participation work

  1. Updates from GEM Departments

  1. Faculty of Social Sciences

REPORTED: (by A Burchfiel)

  1. Advised that the working group have met on a couple of occasions to discuss the Gender Equality Charter Mark which is due to be launched at the ECU conference in November. The next meeting is scheduled for early December.

  2. 3 departments have confirmed that they would like to submit in the first submission round.

  3. A presentation on GEM is being given at the Faculty of Arts meeting on 5th November.

  4. It was confirmed that a Breast Feeding room in the Faculty of Social Sciences is being developed and will be available to all staff on campus, consultation is also taking place with the Working Parents Network through their online forum to find out what staff require in the room. Sunita Palmer from the Medical School advised that they currently have a temporary first aid/breast feeding room available for all staff to use.

  1. English

REPORTED: (by J Smith)

(a) Nothing to report but are waiting for an update on the launch of GEM. Meanwhile identifying best practices in use in STEM departments with a view to replicating some of them in English.

  1. Warwick Business School

REPORTED: (by O Cooper and J Henderson)

  1. Their GEM submission will be released in the public domain very shortly.

  2. No feedback has been received yet from the ECU and no date received for their award ceremony*

  3. WBS have approved the request for an Equality and Diversity notice board to be erected within a prominent place in the building

  4. The first Equality and Welfare committee meeting will be taking place in October

*(C Martin fed this information back to ECU at a recent meeting)

  1. Institute of Advanced Studies

REPORTED: (by L Tennant)

  1. Advised that she is in attendance to find out more about GEM and Athena and find out best practises currently being used to implement with a view to implementing them into IAS.

(5) Any Other Business


Attendance at the meeting showed a mix of Athena and GEM interest, if attendance continues to grow we may need to review the choice of venue or make a decision as to whether a separate Athena and GEM Network Group is required.


Alison Rogers is attending a meeting on Friday 10th October with EPSRC and asked if anyone wanted anything to be raised at the meeting regarding diversity plans.

  1. Date for the next meeting

The date of the next meeting is Monday 6th November 2014 at 12:00 hrs in the MOAC WS345 meeting room.

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