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Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace

The Department of Life Sciences under College of Health Medicine, and Life Sciences (CHMLS) has become the proud holder of an Athena SWAN Silver award in recognition of their activities and practices in relation to the Athena SWAN Equality Charter.

The Athena SWAN charter was established to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in higher education and research. The Athena SWAN award is issued to departments who recognise that, whilst they operate many excellent practices, they are willing to do even more to support women working and studying in the department. We are now committed to an ongoing five year action plan to further implement strategies to increase further our gender equality practices.

Athena Swan initiatives

The Department of Life Sciences runs several Athena Swan initiatives for students and staff.

  1. Aurora Programme is for women in academic, research or professional services who would like to develop their career and explore the avenues to leadership
  2. Our internal Staff Development Team deliver an exciting learning and development programme to support your personal and professional development
  3. Brunel Mentoring Network can provide you with a mentor to help you focus on your career or personal development goals
  4. We have taken a significant step to support female staff members, by providing a mothering room – a Department of Life Sciences initiative which has already been replicated by another department, and which we hope will be extended throughout Brunel. The room is designed to provide an area for rest during and after pregnancy, and a comfortable, welcoming and hygienic environment for the expression and storage of milk.

Athena Swan Core Hour

The Department of Life Sciences follows a Core meeting hours policy. Core meeting hours are 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday. All departmental meetings, seminars, workshops and social gatherings that all staff would attend, are held within core hours.

Flexible working scheme

Flexible working scheme is a scheme that helps staff with caring responsibilities to benefit from a more flexible approach to working. Information about flexible working policy can be found here. All Line Managers are expected to undertake managing flexible working training to be aware of the need to be supportive to request for flexible working. Alternative, they could contact HR to obtain information about this when facing a flexible working matter. 

How do I get involved?

Since March 2021, the Department of Life Sciences Athena Swan programme is implemented and monitored by Dr Raha Pazoki together with the CHMLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Committee chaired by Dr Michael Thomas. For any enquiries related to Life Science’s Athena SWAN activities, please contact the any of the CHMLS ED&I Committee members or the Life Sciences Athena SWAN Lead.

Athena Swan applications and action plans