Swansea University marks ‘Ada Lovelace Day’

Leading ladies at Swansea University met yesterday to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day and to share thoughts, ideas and experiences about the gender equality agenda at the University and discuss how the number of women in senior positions across the University can be increased.

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Ada Lovelace Day, is a worldwide grass-roots event set up to promote female role models in science, technology, engineering and maths (the STEMM subjects). The idea is, by making these women more visible, not only are their profiles raised, but the profiles of all women in these fields.

Swansea University is committed to promoting gender equality and advancing academics’ careers and is already the bearer of a Bronze Athena SWAN Award. Within the University, the College of Human and Health Sciences is the first College to be distinguished with its own award.

Athena SWAN is a national charter which recognizes and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) in higher education and research.

The University has established an Athena SWAN Strategic Group (ASSG) to improve the Athena SWAN profile within the University by supporting and monitoring the progress of the various Athena SWAN submissions in the University and maintaining dialogue with each STEMM College. The group is chaired by Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, who also champions gender equality at the University. The membership includes representatives from STEMM Colleges, Students’ Union and Human Resources, ensuring effective flow of information to and from the ASSG with regard to progress against the Athena SWAN action plan.

The University has been running a series of Athena SWAN related networking events across the campus where discussions have taken place on the following topics:  'Advancing gender equality at Swansea University and Launch of women's mentoring';  'Developing and supporting women working in the Professional Services at Swansea University' and  Women’s experience in the workplace’.

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Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of senior women from the University Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott said: “ Like Ada Lovelace, there are a lot of women whose contributions to academia have not been recognised or rewarded. By raising the profile of women, with the international day of celebration, it encourages people across the world to talk about the women whose work they admire and inspire others. 

“The particular aim from the University’s Strategic Equality Plan and the University Athena SWAN submission is to increase the number of senior positions across the whole university. Yesterday’s meeting was very fruitful with discussions focusing on  opportunities for women including academic and professional services staff, raising awareness  and support mechanisms such as networks and mentoring which we will look at in greater detail at future meetings.

“Ada Lovelace died of cancer at 36, her potential tragically unfulfilled, in modern day Wales we must do everything we can to make sure women are recognised for their achievements in an equal society.”

  • Ada Lovelace Day was founded by Suw Charman-Anderson and aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike. For more information go to http://findingada.com/about

  •  Athena SWAN is a national charter which recognizes and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) in higher education and research. For more information go to http://www.athenaswan.org.uk