Athena Swan in IHW

"What Athena Swan has meant to me"

Many staff and postgraduate students across all areas of IHW have contributed to our Athena Swan activity and benefited, we hope, from the procedural and cultural changes that have grown out of this work. 

Photo of staff on steps outside General Practice and Primary Care

Here, colleagues tell us what Athena SWAN has meant to them and the ways in which they and others have gained.

"For me Athena Swan has always gone much further than gender equality. It champions the rights of everyone to feel they are valued both as a colleague and as a person in their own right, and has supported me to enrich my own life and career by embracing diversity and equality for all." [Cindy Gray, Research and Teaching]

"Equality and support in the workplace means that everyone can reach their full potential. IHW, and Cindy Gray in particular, have been very supportive to the 50+ group. This support has given me an increased confidence to talk about taboo or awkward age-related topics and to take the work of the group forward alongside other members. I have also benefitted from being part of an informal support network within the group." [Nicola McMeekin, Research and Teaching]

"Athena SWAN is key to achieving a workplace culture based on compassion, understanding and transparency. Our regular meetings are a space to listen to our co-workers, come up with ideas, but also to hold challenging conversations. I have learned, and continue to learn, so much from other people’s experiences, and feel more engaged and empowered because of Athena SWAN." [Enni Pulkkinen, Management, Professional and Administrative]

"I am delighted that I have the opportunity to work in an Athena SWAN Gold Institute and to be involved in the work that led to this award. IHW is committed to achieving gender equality and open to changes in guidelines or policies that can move us closer towards this goal. It has been a joy for me to see the improvements initiated and implemented thanks to Athena SWAN work and I am looking forward to further improvements in the near future especially for staff with carer responsibilities." [Jana Anderson, Research and Teaching]

"To be honest, prior to IHW’s Athena Swan journey I was largely ignorant to the extent of gender inequality in academia. Through engaging in Athena Swan meetings I continue to become better informed and have made meaningful connections with colleagues across the institute." [Jim Lewsey, Research and Teaching]

"It is a privilege to be part of IHW’s Athena SWAN work. The range of initiatives developed over the past few years have made a real difference to our staff and students. I have particularly valued the emphasis on flexibility, which makes it easier for me to achieve a better work-life balance." [Breda Cullen, Research and Teaching] 

"Our institute's commitment to addressing inequalities and changing cultures has made it much easier for me to be myself in this increasingly inclusive, accepting environment. And any of us can contribute, whatever our role, grade or job family, making it truly representative and giving us opportunities for rewarding, enjoyable experiences working with colleagues who share our values and interests." [Jane Goodfellow, Technical and Specialist] 

"Athena SWAN has really helped to raise awareness of how workplaces can allow people to have a healthy work-life balance and manage their caring responsibilities. Working with a range of staff has allowed diverse perspectives to inform the development of initiatives that strive to continuously improve the work environment." [Vittal Katikireddi, Research and Teaching]