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Creating a more supportive and inclusive university culture: Athena SWAN action plans contribute to positive culture change

Results of two C-Change surveys of 4997 faculty and staff in medical and social sciences at the University of Oxford are analysed quantitatively and qualitatively and presented with illustrative quotations giving voice to critical personal perceptions of the culture and efforts to improve it. The C-Change survey included 12 dimensions of the culture: Vitality; Self-Efficacy in Career Advancement; Institutional Support; Relationships/Inclusion/Trust; Values Alignment; Ethical/Moral Distress; Leadership Aspirations; Work-Life Integration; Gender Equity; Black and Minority Ethnic Equity; Institutional Change Efforts for Diversity; Institutional Change Efforts for Faculty Support. Women were less positive than men on six dimensions in medical and ten dimensions in social sciences, suggesting that women’s experiences are different to those of men. Both women and men were more positive about the culture in medical than social sciences. A more positive culture in medical sciences is attributed to the wide-spread implementation of Athena SWAN gender equality action plans linked to the NIHR funding incentives.

Read the full paper in the special issue of Interdisciplinary Science Reviews on gender in scientific practice: https://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2019.1603880

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