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The University of Southampton

Prof Richard Brown

Professor Richard Brown (Professor of Organic Chemistry)

“I believe we are making progress in improving equality and diversity in Chemistry at Southampton, things are evolving pretty quickly and the profile of Athena Swan has grown massively over the last year. When people from the outside come to Southampton they see a good collegiate atmosphere among the staff and people help each other out.

Professor Richard Brown
Professor Richard Brown

“For the Athena Swan process to work, it has to include everyone and be led from the top and I would say that is happening in Chemistry. It’s important to recognise everyone’s contribution to the department, not just staff who are involved in high profile research.

“There’s still work to do to improve career prospects for women. Numbers of young men and women undergraduates are fairly equal but men tend to stay longer in academia. Although more post doctoral and early career researcher posts are going to women, we have to work through how to deal with career breaks and support people on a case by case basis. There is little turnover in academic staff at Southampton which is good because it shows people are happy here but is also means there are few vacancies.”

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