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A picture of Prof David Paterson alongside a quote: "The implementation and embedding                  of Athena Swan principles has made a great contribution to achieving an ambition that I hold for the department: the career development and progression of women"

Women in Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics

The portraits on the walls of Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics's (DPAG) Sherrington Building have historically been predominantly of men, reflecting our heritage but not acknowledging the role of women in the history of the Department. In 2020 we committed to raise the visibility of women, and to acknowledge their contributions to the Department, through images and narratives celebrating their work and successes.  In 2021, the project came to fruition with the creation of a ‘Women in Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics’ website which features nominated women staff and students, past and present.  In conjunction, we created a gallery of photographs of 16 notable women on the main staircase of the Sherrington Building.  Feedback on the gallery has been incredibly positive, with regular comments from staff, students, and visitors. 

"Women on the stairwell are fantastic! The photographs look great. I had some major visitors to the lab today and they were a big hit.  So nice to see!!' (Group Leader, M, 2021)

 An old back and white picture of Mabel Fitzgerald who was a pioneer in respiration research alongside some information about the Women in Physiology project: In recognition of the fact that women have been largely excluded from DPAG’s history, we undertook this project in 2021 to redress the balance […]  we hope that it serves both to celebrate our past and to inspire future generations of women

Lunch and Learn – launched 2019

Responding to survey feedback from staff and students that there was a need for short, focused training sessions, we piloted ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions in 2019 and 2020.  Attendance was good, and feedback excellent, leading to the development of termly themed Lunch & Learn programmes.  The sessions have been open to all DPAG staff and students, as well as other local departments.

Engagement and feedback has been excellent with 94% of attendees agreeing that their understanding of each topic has improved post-event.  A recent Lunch & Learn that included a presentation and discussion on regrading prompted a number of approaches from PIs who were keen to support the regrading of group members, and from researchers and professional services staff wishing to apply for regrading.

“It was a really useful session. I liked the panel discussion and the questions asked by the chair. One of the most useful sessions I have attended so far. Thank you!” Anon. Working in Academia Lunch & Learn, March 2022.

“This was excellent, with clear examples of how to prepare cv, covering letter and how to take part in an interview.” Anon, CVs & Interview Skills, February 2022

Some people learning in a lecture hall alongside information about how grop leaders in DPAG have used the Lunch and Learn programme to springboard discussions with departmetal management about staff regrading.


Click here to read about EDI activity in one of our other 16 departments:

MSD Goes Silver: 10 Years of Athena Swan