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Professor Athene Donald: Equality and Diversity Activities


Since 2007, when I took up the role of Director of of WiSETI, the University's Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative, I have been extensively involved in diversity issues. Until October 2014 I continued in this role and from 2010-14 I was also the University's Gender Equality Champion and sat on the University's Council, and the Equality and Diversity Committee. I continue to chair the University's Gender Equality Group.

Outside the University I have served on the Royal Society's Equality and Diversity Advisory Network (EDAN) from 2009-13.

A RECORDED CONVERSATION between myself and Dame Linda Partridge regarding our lives as women scientists can be found on the EDAN pages through an mp3 file; the fascinating book by Professor Ottoline Leyser regarding the many different ways women scientists have managed to balance their personal lives and their work, MOTHERS IN SCIENCE, can also be downloaded from the EDAN site.

I was a previous chair of the Athena Forum from 2009-13, whose mission is to provide a strategic oversight of developments that seek to, or have proven to, advance the career progression and representation of women in science, technology, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) in UK higher education.

I sit on the Scientific Council of the European Research Council and am a member of their Working Group on Gender Balance.

Awards and Talks

I was awarded the L'Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science award for Europe for 2009 as described here . Further details on the 2009 laureates can be found here. I have served on both the UK Fellowship and International Laureate juries for the For Women in Science scheme, chairing the former in 2011-12.

I was a recipient of one of the UKRC's 2011 Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards ( Lifetime Achievement Award).

I have given numerous talks around diversity issues. The text of a talk I gave on Gender and Science in Academia- Obstacles and Interventions to the Oesterreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft Day on Science and Gender in October 2010. A draft of this paper can be found here.

I am frequently asked to talk about gender in science at many different sorts of events. For instance a video of a talk I gave at the 2011 HowtheLightGetsIn Hay Philosophy Festival can be found here and a video of a talk I gave to WiSET at the University of Southampton for their Annual Campbell Lecture can be found here. I have recently talked in schools, university and Government meetings about the issues for women in science, and have taken part in a number of debates.

Many of my blogposts (at my various blogsites) deal with issues around diversity issues, particularly unconscious bias. A podcast with Uta Frith at the Nature website discusses this and related issues.


Last updated April 2013