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Prof Keith Channon says "I am very proud of the progress that Athena Swan has already made within RDM. Initiatives in areas such as mentoring and career development have had major impacts for our academic and professional support staff and students"

Newly appointed Head of Department Prof Channon says of Radcliffe Department of Medicine's (RDM) Athena Swan activity:

“As the new Head of the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, I am very proud of the progress that Athena Swan has already made within RDM. Initiatives in areas such as mentoring and career development have had major impacts for our academic and professional support staff and students, and the Athena Swan process will continue to be an important driver of our efforts to make RDM an attractive place to work and thrive. I look forward to being part of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, and building on the work to help shape ways to foster an inclusive and diverse teaching, research and professional support culture for all our staff and students.”

Mentoring project

In 2014, RDM introduced a mentoring scheme for all members of the department. The aim of the scheme is to assist staff (academic, research, professional support) and postgraduate students to achieve personal and professional growth through a mentoring relationship that provides support as they progress and develop within the University.

  • 85 mentees (65% female; 35% male)
  • 96 mentors enrolled (46% female; 54% male)
  • 66 live relationships

Mentoring Evaluation Report was completed in 2021:

"Overall, our mentors and mentees described feeling well supported by the scheme structure. Most mentees reported being able to plan (and act) on career progression thanks to their mentoring relationships. Mentors and mentees commented on the feeling of a community within RDM through the mentoring scheme.”

Mentoring Dialogue Project

Mentoring Dialogue Pilot Project was completed in 2020, with the report put onto the website in 2021 “The fundamental principle of the pilot was to voluntarily invert the typical hierarchical structures of formal mentoring relationships (junior post mentored by senior post), giving senior staff access to the experiences of more junior post-holders and to enabling them to re-evaluate their views and understanding of current issues in academia.”

Read more including a comprehensive report here: RDM Mentoring webpages 

An image of two women talking casually in a cafeteria alongside a quote about the RDM mentoring programme: "the scheme makes me feel heard and valued as a member of the University. Having a mentor has helped my career progression, I hope to do the     same for a future mentee" 

Diversity Interventions Conference 2022: Towards a Science and Profession of Athena Swan

Conceived and managed by Co-Directors Dr Pavel Ovseiko (RDM) and Sarah Dickinson-Hyams (Advance HE). Organised by Head of the Conference Secretariat Louise Cotterell (DPAG and RDM), International Charters Development Officer Kay Steven (Advance HE). The Diversity Interventions conference was held in Oxford in April, in hybrid format. In tandem, a sister conference was held by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) in Australia, with common themes and joint abstract submission.

The idea for the conference started from conversations with EDI and Strategic Projects Facilitator Charlotte Smith (RDM), as well as researchers and professional staff across as the University, Advance HE, and SAGE.

The vision for the conference was to unite Athena Swan professionals, researchers, and advocates from across the world to share best practice, discuss emerging innovations, and exchange personal experiences in designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions and action plans. This vision came to fruition thanks to the funding from the John Fell Fund, van Houten Fund, and Advance HE, collaboration with SAGE, and support from the Local Organising Committee and volunteers.

The conference proved to be a great success, with 43 speakers from Australia, Canada, the EU, India, Ireland, the UK and USA as well as over 200 in-person and online delegates, representing over 100 institutions, across 21  countries coming together to tackle some of the biggest challenges on the way to developing a science of diversity interventions.

 In their feedback, delegates noted that it was an “excellent” and “perfectly designed conference”, they were “impressed with the quality and variety of presentations”, and that the conference “left all of us invigorated”. One delegate remarked:

“I thought the conference was a great success – really useful and timely topics and debates and the networking opportunities really valuable.  Thank you also for all the care and attention to making us all feel looked after.”

The conference team is now working to disseminate the outputs from the conference and maximise its impact. The video recordings from the conference are being edited for sharing with the wider audience on the conference website. The conference proceedings and the book of abstracts are being prepared for publication in BMC Proceedings – an online open access journal devoted specifically to conference publications of a cross- or multi-disciplinary nature. Collaborations, methods, and procedures established during the conference will inform the development of the next Diversity Interventions conference, which will be hosted by SAGE in Australia in 2023.

Read more about the conference, and access the session recordings, conference proceedings, and book of abstracts once available here: Diversity Interventions website

An image taken from above of a group of conference delegates in the Natural History Museum with the quote "over 200 in-person and online delegates, representing over 100 institutions, across 21  countries came together to tackle some of the biggest challenges of diversity interventions"


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

MSD Goes Silver: 10 Years of Athena Swan