50:50 Gender Equality Group, 6 February 2012

50:50 Gender Equality Group, 6 February 2012
David Atwell
Sonal Bharadva
Alena Chong
Mary Collins
Purvangi Dave
Rob de Bruin
Annette Dolphin
Sarah Guise
Marjan Jahanshahi
Charlotte Lemanski
Geraint Rees
Sarah Winmill
Ifat Yasin
Anna Cox
Sarah Chaytor
Judith Stephenson
1. Welcome, apologies and introductions
Mary Collins introduced herself as the Dean of Life Sciences and Gender
Equality Champion at UCL. In her role as Champion, MC stressed her
concern about equal pay but also indicated that within Life Sciences
departments avoid meetings in core hours – ‘core business in core hours’ - so
that those with other responsibilities, such as child care, are able to attend.
MC was chairing the first meeting and stated that the next steps for the 50:50
group were to elect a Chair and to decide on key gender issues to prioritise to
get more women into senior grades.
Action: members to self nominate to become Chair by emailing Sarah
Guise. A voting procedure will take place at the next meeting.
2. How staff groups work at UCL
Sarah Guise spoke about the other staff equality groups at UCL. The first
group to be set up in 2009 was the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
(LGBT) Equality Group. The group started as a policy group aiming to gain
entry into Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers. The suggestion of a social network
allowed the group to develop further by organising events to raise awareness
of LGBT equality. The LGBT social network ‘[email protected]’ now has over 100
members and formal recognition from Stonewall. There is now a core LGBT
steering group of 12 people that meet once a term to consult on policy e.g.
whether homophobic speakers should be invited to UCL. Much progress has
been made by the group and UCL has recently gained entry into Stonewall’s
Top 100 employers for the first time. There are far more men than women on
the group.
There was very little activity regarding race equality a few years ago. A
member of staff was employed to work specifically on this area to develop a
Race Equality Scheme (strategy document) and action plan. Similarly to the
LGBT Equality Group (LEG), the Race Equality Group (REG) has a social
network as well as a smaller policy/steering group. There are around 30
people on the social network and 15 on the policy group. There are more
support staff on the group than academic and research staff.
Both of these groups report to the Committee for Equal Opportunities (CEO).
The CEO is currently under review. It is notable however that when Chairs of
Equality Groups make policy and other recommendations in relation to their
equality areas it has more impact. Neither of the groups tends to deal with
student issues.
Athena SWAN Charter
UCL has obtained 5 silver awards from the Athena SWAN Charter – a
scheme for gender equality in science, engineering and technology (SET)
departments. The awards are very prestigious with firm backing from the
Provost. UCL also has a Bronze Award at university wide level. This is due for
renewal this year and the 50:50 group can input on this.
There was subsequent discussion about the process and level of interest in
joining the 50:50 group. There were a number of very high calibre
applications. It was established that there was no set time frame for the group
and that it would depend on the rate of progress towards the gender target.
Upcoming issues for the group to work on (from round robin):
Recruitment of the new Provost – e.g. ensure there is a woman on the
Working hours and work-life balance
Mentoring & career progression
Jan Atkinson’s report, ‘Women in Leadership and Management,’ made a
number of recommendations. The group will aim to look at the
recommendations and push the most pertinent ones forward.
3. Agree draft Terms of Reference
Action: SG to email the ToR to the group for comment
4. Overview of the UCL position and key data
SG delivered a presentation titled ‘What gender is UCL?’
A number of comments were made following the presentation:
Careers and openings – some academic staff stay in their jobs for a very
long time – there could be stagnation and it will take time to change the
gender balance
60% of staff at UCL are researchers. Most are contracted so this would
mean that a large number of women are in insecure jobs.
Examples of progressive policies should be promoted more widely e.g.
sabbatical leave after maternity and UCL’s general maternity policy.
There are well-known gender differences in men and women putting
themselves forward for e.g. promotion which needs to be recognised i.e.
many men will see a job description and meet 5 of the criteria from 10 and
will still apply for the position, however, many women will meet 9 of 10
criteria and will hesitate to apply for the same position.
There is a perception that fewer women self-nominate during the
promotions process.
Many staff come to UCL on fellowships where there is no formal
recruitment process, however, the majority of these staff are made
The group agreed some key areas for discussion at future meetings:
Promotions and pay
Mentoring and career progression
Publicity of women
Work-life balance
A number of points were raised about gender data:
 There is a need for transparency in data. The Public Sector Equality
Duty requires UCL to publish a great deal of equality data.
 Some groups members felt that data on recruitment, promotions and
pay for all staff and grades should be more transparent.
 It was commented that data at a departmental level would be ideal and
if this were to be published it would create competition within
departments to improve e.g. their recruitment processes.
 Data on head hunters should be collected to see how people are
approached and who tells them who to approach. DA had already
contacted the Provost to enquire about this.
Action: SG to email link to staff data to the group
Action: SG to present some key staff survey findings at the next meeting
Action: group to actively seek positive stories of female careers and role
models and send to the Provost for inclusion in his newsletters
Action: MC to draft a letter on behalf of the group to Nigel Waugh
regarding the new Finance Director and Provost appointments and the
need for transparency in the process
Action: SG to speak to Geoff Lang to speak about addressing Equal Pay
at a future meeting
5. Priorities and date for next meeting
The next meeting date to be agreed by Doodle in order to include those who
were unable to attend this time
The priorities for this meeting are as follows:
1. Elect new chair
2. Recruitment
3. Mentoring and PR (if enough time)