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The University of Southampton

Prof Simon Coles

Professor Simon Coles (Professor and Director, UK National Crystallography Service)

Professor Simon Coles
Professor Simon Coles

"Chemistry has traditionally been a male-dominated subject but the University of Southampton has a good reputation for encouraging female students and academics to progress in their careers and has a high degree of diversity in many respects - I find it a highly tolerant, supportive and relaxed environment to work in. However, more remains to be done. The gender ratios are approaching 50/50 at undergraduate level and increasing numbers of women stay on for PhDs but we need to address the issues surrounding postdoctoral research. To succeed these days, you need to take two or three short term posts, often in different parts of the world and this deters quite a number of people, male and female. Good opportunities at the best research-intensive universities are also in short supply. Early career female researchers in their late twenties and thirties may want to start a family at this time and it can be a challenge to combine these two aspects of one¹s life."

"We believe the £9,000 a year undergraduate fees may work in Chemistry's favour as young people want to take a high value degree that can open doors to successful careers in many areas, not just science. If we continue to prosper, there will be more job opportunities here for the best scientists, whether male or female and regardless of how diverse a background they have."

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