We currently hold the Institute of Physics JUNO 'Practitioner' award for gender equality, and we are actively working towards both the JUNO Champion and the Athena SWAN awards. Our Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) functions as a sub-group of the E&D committee and meets regularly to work towards our application in November.
A recent working group from the Athena SWAN SAT considered the support for staff returning from parental/carers leave and how it could be improved. As a consequence of this working group, the following recommendations were approved by the July 2013 School Board:
- All returners from parental/carers leave should have the option of a mentor to help them get back into their job (who might be different to their usual mentor)
- The School should commit to maintaining contact during the leave (e.g. perhaps guidance for supervisors on maintaining email contact etc)
- We should have some family-friendly social events throughout the year that those on leave could still attend
- General careers advice for early career researchers to cover managing career breaks
- The School should commit to providing a private, hygienic place for breast milk expression
- Guidance for supervisors on how to help their supervisee to manage a gradual return to work