Staff consultation group
Published: 21 September 2022
Jack Melson, chair of the SHW Athena Swan staff consultation group, reports back on the findings of the latest consultation exercise in which colleagues were asked to reflect on how they've experienced and view Athena Swan activities
Jack Melson, chair of the SHW Athena Swan staff consultation group, reports back on the findings of the latest consultation exercise in which colleagues were asked to reflect on how they've experienced and view Athena Swan activities.
Each year the Athena Swan Staff Consultation working group conducts a more in-depth exploration of how staff in SHW view or feel about certain topics that impact their working lives.
Following 10 years of Athena Swan activities in SHW, the 2022 staff consultation asked staff about their views and experiences of the Athena Swan initiative. In a shift from the working groups’ usual approach of carrying out a small number of one-to-one interviews, staff were surveyed to increase the reach of the consultation at this 10 year milestone.
A total of 53 members of SHW staff contributed to the consultation and this highlighted the positive impacts of Athena Swan in SHW, including the view that staff members’ awareness of and confidence discussing issues of equality and diversity had improved.
Specific policies including "core meeting hours" and flexible working arrangements were also highlighted by staff as having had a positive impact on their experience at work. At the same time the consultation also reported negative views about Athena Swan. Among these were concerns that activities can be tokenistic and with limited impact.
Reporting these mixed views on Athena Swan this year was an eye-opener and emphasises the importance of engaging with and learning from staff outwith Athena Swan working groups. In our view it also highlights the important function served by the staff consultation, providing staff an opportunity to speak candidly on important topics.
Jack Melson and Karen Wetherall
Chairs of SHW Athena Swan staff consultation group
First published: 21 September 2022