Posted Tuesday 8 March 2022
The theme for International Women's Day this year is #BreakTheBias, with people being encouraged to share photographs of themselves on social media crossing arms to demonstrate a commitment to calling out inequality, alongside the campaign hashtag.
The University community has come together below to pledge their commitment to calling out bias, discrimination and stereotyping, and to help forge an inclusive world.
Short online forms have been created to allow our students, staff and alumni to let us know how they will #BreakTheBias. We will be sharing these commitments throughout March across our social media platforms.
Caroline Harries, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Leadership Team lead for gender equality
"March is a month where we celebrate both Women's History Month and International Women's Day. Striving to break down barriers and bias to progress gender equality is not limited to these 31 days of March, but this focused time is an opportunity to really reflect on the successes we can celebrate, and those challenges that still lie ahead.
As an institution we can be proud of the work that has been done on reducing the gender pay gap and the diversity of gender across its leadership. Opportunities such as Aurora, diversifying leadership and StellarHE are just a few initiatives that have been implemented to help further enable our female staff achieve their ambitions within leadership.
We also currently hold the Athena SWAN Bronze Award with ambitious plans for the future. Charter marks such as these celebrate and recognise the tremendous work we are doing as a University in our commitment to furthering our equality ambitions."
Dr Ali Al-Kinani, senior lecturer in clinical pharmaceuticals
"As a minority ethnic male co-char of the institutional Athena Swan, I live the principle of equality for all staff and students of all backgrounds and aim to champion intersectionality and gender as a spectrum."
Saira Butt, final year project student in pharmaceutical and chemical sciences
"I am completing a final year research project which is exploring engagement with the patent process, where I am investigating the race, gender and income gaps that exist between patent applicants. By challenging current practices will enable our next generation of ethnic minority women to become the future leaders in STEM innovation."
Paula Cummings, senior lecturer in midwifery and departmental lead for equality, diversity and inclusion
"Representation is important. I think it fills an internal yearning that validates you and almost gives you permission to take your place in the professional world. It says that you can, it says that you should, it says glass and concrete ceilings can be broken."
Dr Helen Julia Minors, associate professor of music
"We must go beyond equality to achieving equity. An equitable world will enable us all to break those glass ceilings."
Dr Athina-Myrto Chioni, senior lecturer in pathobiology and cancer biology
"Fighting against bias is anyone that comes out of their comfort zone to challenge stereotypes and inequality. I am inspired by my students' resilience who might have childcare responsibilities, work commitments or simply having to fight to be accepted because they do not 'fit in'."
Professor Jean-Christophe Nebel, Director of Research and Enterprise in the University's School of Computer Science and Mathematics
"No ifs or buts. Let's break the bias now."
Clara Lang-Ezekiel, Kingston School of Art Fine Art MFA graduate
"Though recorded history has often relegated women to footnotes, world history is overflowing with examples of exceptional women - women who have had to work twice as hard to earn their place in our collective memory."
Dr Henry Bond, senior lecturer in photography
"As a male ally, I commit to calling out gendered actions or assumptions. We need to dismantle historic bias so that we can build a better future away from prejudice #BreakTheBias."
Associate professor Dr Baljit Thatti, who is supervising a final year student project with associate professor Dr Nicholas Freestone
"Inclusivity encourages new ideas and can drive innovation - we are working hard to explore how gender intersects with ethnicity in the innovation and enterprise aspects of chemistry and pharmaceutical science ".