Don’t set limits on yourself. What’s the worst that can happen? – Professor Jenny Higham, incoming principal of St. George’s, University of London

Posted on the Womanthology blog on 28th October Professor Jenny Higham (Principal of St. George’s, University of London, a specialist healthcare University) discusses equality, career choices and going for it!  Although written with a medical perspective there is a lot of useful advice:

”It’s really important to champion the next generation of women in medicine. I have to say that I’m a real believer in equality for everybody, rather than it’s only about women, although I have to say that in some ways it’s a bit depressing that you might have thought it [gender equality] would have all been sorted by now, but it’s hasn’t been.

We’ve heard it all before, but women make assumptions that they can’t do it, or that they won’t be good enough, and they often have a reticence about their own ability, or an anxiety that it will take too much of what else they want to achieve in their life. I think that encouraging women to play to their strengths, encouraging them to apply for roles, to try things out and developing others is a really important thing……….”

What do you think?  Are you encouraging someone to believe that they are good enough?  Do you need encouragement to apply/try something?

Don’t set limits on yourself. What’s the worst that can happen?

Don’t set limits on yourself. What’s the worst that can happen?

Vice-Chancellor message on diversity and inclusion

On 11th May the Vice-Chancellor published a message on diversity and inclusion.  To see the full statement follow this link –

‘We want talented women to rise top of the institution and to close the gender pay gap.  Real change will take time and will not happen overnight. We need to see big structural and cultural shifts within the University. But the case for change is unarguable. We have a diverse community and must do more to ensure that all students and employees fulfil their full potential and talent’


Geoscientist Online – Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

Stuart Black has highlighted 2 articles in the recent edition of Geoscientist (May 2015). Firstly, the Editorial by Ted Nield where he reflects on diversity in relation to his graduation group photograph (from 1977) –, and secondly, an article by Alison Stokes (Plymouth University) and Christopher Aitchison (University of Cincinnati) examining strategies for providing greater opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in geoscience fieldwork –

Cover_Geo May15

Improving equality in the research environment #vitaehangout

Join other researchers for a live online #vitaehangout on 26 March (Thursday) between 2-3pm UK time to discuss equality and diversity in research, share knowledge about the initiatives in place and ask our panel of experts about the issues that affect researchers in higher education.


This event is part of Every Researcher Counts, a series of activities addressing equality and diversity in research including conferences, training and resources –

The challenge to achieve equality remains clear with still only 21% UK Professors being female and 0.4% of UK Professors being black. Alongside these statistics, the rhetoric supporting equality and diversity and the need to improve make real change to ensure maximum success has never been clearer. This is supported by established law and a group of well know initiatives for example the UK Equality Act 2010, the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and Athena Swan. Alongside these forthcoming new initiatives will ensure that mainstreaming equality and diversity will become a priority for UK HEIs in the forthcoming years.

Vitae’s Every Researcher Counts programme operates across all nine protected characteristics in order to tackle equality and diversity in research. The recently published Actions for All lists the ten things that institutions should do now to tackle equality and diversity. This hangout aims to realistically discuss the challenges individuals face in their institutions.

So how can we continue to make real progress in tackling inequality in the research environment?

Our panelists will join our moderator to discuss this and many other questions, such as:

  • How can we as a research community work to improve equality and diversity?
  • Do you think we can ever achieve a true diversity of opportunity?
  • What key things would you like to see addressed in your institution?
  • Why is it important to address inequality in research?
  • What do you think are the main challenges?