The University of Southampton

Promoting Women in Science and Engineering

The University of Southampton’s Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) department has been recognised for its work tackling the problem of gender inequality in science and engineering with an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

The Athena SWAN Charter was set up in 2005 and acknowledges the commitment of the higher education sector to address gender inequalities, tackle the unequal representation of women in science and engineering and to improve career progression for them. The national achievement recognises the work ECS has done to ensure women are encouraged into an area that historically has been dominated by men.

Women in STEM

PhD student Olivia gives advice to female students thinking about going into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and talks about her experience at ECS

Among the key areas ECS has been focusing on since winning the Award are:

  • encouraging more female students without standard A-Levels to enter our Foundation programme
  • encouraging more females to enrol on courses
  • expanding our outreach activities to encourage more girls to consider Electronics and Computer Science in higher education
  • increasing recruitment of female academic staff
  • gaining a better understanding of why many female postgraduates are not applying for research posts and why many Research Fellows are not applying for academic positions
  • supporting flexible working and family-friendly policies such as career breaks, parental leave and flexible working
  • supporting career development for women
  • providing diversity training for all staff

In ECS, female academics such as Professor Dame Wendy Hall are showing the success that women can have in the fields of Electronics and Computer science. A pioneer of the Web, Dame Wendy is dedicated to raising the profile of women in Electronics and Computer Science and was recognised in 2015 by the Association for Computing Machinery for transforming the way the world views computing.

Many of female students are also accomplishing great things in the field. Syrian-born Ghaithaa Manla is just one such success story. Ghaithaa came over to the UK to study her MSc in Electronic Engineering and enjoyed her time at Southampton so much she has stayed. Since then she has completed her PhD, helped other international students settle into Southampton, become Coordinator of women’s networking group Theano and is now a research fellow in ECS.

The University of Southampton has held the Athena SWAN Bronze Award since 2006. Find out more about the University of Southampton’s Athena SWAN activities here.

Athena SWAN bronze award

Athena SWAN

ECS Athena SWAN Award for supporting women in science

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

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