Gender equality: why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Gender equality: why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Today the Institute held a morning of seminars and discussion in celebration of International Women’s Day, bringing together people from the Institute and the wider campus environment to reflect on ‘Gender equality: why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. The three invited speakers and audience discussed how advancements in gender equality benefit everyone, and why change should be driven by all genders.
We are grateful for the contribution of our speakers who were able to share their experiences of equality and diversity and how to champion for change. Over the course of the morning, the audience heard from:

  • Professor Jeremy Sanders, Deputy Chair of the Athena Forum and former pro-vice-chancellor for Institutional Affairs at the University of Cambridge: Advancing Women’s Careers in STEM: What can we learn from recent Cambridge experience?
  • Dr Jill Armstrong, Research Associate, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge: Gender inclusion isn’t a ‘women’s issue’
  • Dr David Kent, Group leader and Public Engagement Champion at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute: Reflections on taking parental leave as a new male group leader

The event was organised by the Institute’s equality4success committee, which has responsibility for achieving the Institute’s Athena SWAN action plan (following the Institute’s Silver award in 2015) and the Institute’s participation in the European LIBRA project to assess ways to achieve gender equality in academia. Reflecting on the event, equality4success Manager, Dr Jorg Stange, said: “There’s strong evidence that in order to achieve gender equality contributions from all genders are required. The discussions from today will help us move from raising awareness of what’s required to develop an inclusive and flexible culture to identifying concrete actions in order to achieve this. I’d like to thank our speakers, audience and equality4success committee members for their contributions to today’s stimulating event.”
The morning’s programme was concluded by the award of the Institute’s Athena SWAN Best Practice Award 2017 to group leader and Chair of the equality4success committee Dr Anne Corcoran. Anne was recognised for her commitment to supporting and inspiring women in science and in acting as a catalyst for change around gender issues.
Professor Michael Wakelam, Director of the Institute, commented: “Anne’s dedication and commitment to developing gender equality at the Institute was recognised by a large proportion of nominations, showing how highly her contribution in this area is appreciated. Since taking a leading role in the preparation of the Institute’s Athena SWAN application, and following our Silver award, Anne has continued to champion the development of new policies and initiatives, not only improving the culture at the Institute but also contributing to the LIBRA project which will have an impact across Europe. I’m delighted to offer Anne my warmest congratulations and thank her for all her efforts.”

Additional resources:

Institute blog on issues covering gender, equality and work-life balance