On her blog Athene Donald (Professor of Experimental Physics and Gender Equality Champion at the University of Cambridge) makes some suggestions about what we can all do as a result of the news stories surrounding Tim Hunt’s comments:
■Call out bad behaviour whenever and wherever you see it – in committees or in the street. Don’t leave women to be victimised;
■Encourage women to dare, to take risks;
■Act as a sponsor or mentor (if you are just setting out there will still always be people younger than you, including school children, for whom you can act);
■Don’t let team members get away with demeaning behaviour, objectifying women or acting to exclude anyone;
■Refuse to serve on single sex panels or at conferences without an appropriate level of female invited speakers;
■Consider the imagery in your department and ensure it represents a diverse group of individuals;
■Consider the daily working environment to see if anything inappropriate is lurking. If so, do something about it.
■Demand/require mandatory unconscious bias training, in particular for appointment and promotion panels; Unconscious bias training is taking place for 20 SAGES staff this month!
■Don’t let the bold (male or female) monopolise the conversation in the classroom or the apparatus in the laboratory, at the expense of the timid (female or male);
■Nominate women for prizes, fellowships etc;
■Tap women on the shoulder to encourage them to apply for opportunities they otherwise would be unaware of or feel they were not qualified for;
■Move the dialogue on from part-time working equates to ‘isn’t serious’ to part-time working means balancing different demands;
■Recognize the importance of family (and even love) for men and women;
■Be prepared to be a visible role model;
■Gather evidence, data and anecdote, to provide ammunition for management to change;
■Listen and act if a woman starts hinting there are problems, don’t be dismissive because it makes you uncomfortable;
■Think broadly when asked to make suggestions of names for any position or role.
What will you do? What can we all do………..?