Sheffield hosts second annual Medical School’s Athena SWAN event

On Wednesday 11th September, the University of Sheffield’s Medical School hosted the second annual meeting of the UK Medical Schools Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Athena SWAN Network.

Delegates gather at an Athena Swan event in Sheffield

Approximately sixty representatives from medical schools around the UK gathered in Sheffield’s Leopold Hotel to discuss, develop and take forwards a range of initiatives designed to progress the Athena SWAN agenda.

“I was pleased to speak about Advance HE and current work on the Athena SWAN Charter. It is a time of great importance for us as we develop our services for the sector and seek to ensure that members get what they need from us – as an organisation and with regards to Athena SWAN specifically”, explained James Greenwood-Lush, Head of Athena SWAN at Advance HE.

“That’s why it’s so important that I was invited to speak with such an engaged group. Through working with each other and in partnership with Advance HE, institutions have the greatest potential to learn, drive change and coordinate activity at a national level, and improve equality and diversity for all constituencies. The UK Medical Schools EDI Athena Swan Network events present important fora to support this.”

Delegates of the event were treated to an engaging and insightful day, starting with updates on initiatives taken since the first annual meeting in 2018. Following keynote speeches from Matt Mears (Chair of Sheffield’s LBGT+ Network), James Greenwood-Lush, and Professor Sue Durbin (University of West England), attendees then split into groups for workshops focussing on topics such as data, measuring impact, inclusive language, and protected characteristics.

“I was delighted to be invited to attend this Athena Swan Event. I was inspired by all the great work that is going on in relation to achieving gender equality in universities”, said Professor Durbin. “Events like these are so important and really help delegates to realise the potential impact of their great work and commitment. They also enable to come together, share our ideas and work towards shared goals.”

The event finished with a presentation on initiatives, successes and reflections from Dr Alenka Brookes and Dr Jenna Fielding (Sheffield Women in Medicine), before wrapping up with closing comments from Dr Andrew Chantry (Chair of Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, University of Sheffield).

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