Dr Clare Belcher

Activities and benefits

The Geography department here at Exeter is committed to the development of an inclusive culture whereby all staff and students feel that they can achieve their career aspirations and goals.

The Athena SWAN self assessment process has given us the opportunity to explore issues of gender within our discipline as well as a mechanism through which we can support both men and women. The Geography Athena SWAN group has genuine influence, which is already showing an impact upon the culture of the department.

Since embarking on our Athena SWAN journey, we have recognised key challenges faced by women within the department. In consequence to this, we have put in place a number of measures, including:

  • an established early careers network
  • increased completion rates for equality and diversity training, as well as recruitment and selection training for all staff who sit on interview panels
  • equal gender representation on our web pages
  • Athena SWAN principles are integrated into our recruitment procedure
  • A review of the PDR appraisal process
  • organised weekly coffee sessions which all staff are invited to attend.

During this time, we have seen an increase in the overall number of our staff and students whilst welcoming a greater proportion of women to the department. This is reflected in our data, which shows the gender ratio of our student and staff populations have become more balanced over time. We are extremely proud of the work we have done so far but recognise there is more to do. Women are still underrepresented at the most senior levels; we hope that through our Athena SWAN work, we can support the women already in our pipeline to progress on to those senior positions, thereby providing a gender balance of role models for the next generation of Geographers.