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Next steps

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We're proud of our Athena SWAN achievements so far but are committed to doing more. Find out what we've got planned for the near future.

Career development
  • We'll evolve and promote awareness and uptake of mentoring and leadership opportunities for all staff as they progress through the career pipeline.
  • We will develop and launch a WMS focused shadowing scheme in 2019.
  • To improve Personal Development Review data capture, we will institute mandatory PDR training for line managers, and promote the advantages of PRDs to all staff for career progression through our website, newsletters and induction.
  • We will develop and refine the WMS mentoring scheme.

Professional and Support Services (PSS) staff

  • We'll engage with PSS staff to promote funding and support opportunities for further career development through our newsletter, website, Personal Development Reviews and workshops/focus groups.
  • We'll establish a PSS Advisory Group (PSAG) who will help to develop and deliver PSS career guidance and actions.

  • We'll evolve and promote awareness and uptake of training and leadership opportunities for PSS.
  • In collaboration with our neighbouring department, the School of Life Sciences (a Silver Athena SWAN holder), we will host a workshop on ‘PSS Career Development and Promotion Opportunities'.
  • We'll develop and launch a WMS focused shadowing scheme for PSS staff.

  • We'll establish and promote mentoring opportunities for PSS.

Academic staff

  • In collaboration with our neighbouring department, the School of Life Sciences, we will host a workshop on ‘Preparing for Promotion’.
  • We'll promote the new promotions framework to ensure staff are supported in developing applications meeting the new criteria. Teaching staff will be encouraged to work towards the Higher Education Academy Fellowship (HEAF).
  • We will invite staff to participate in workshops, seminars and focus groups providing guidance to help them produce higher impact papers and other outputs.
  • We will engage with our women academics (clinical and non-clinical) using a variety of approaches to identify any perceived gender-related barriers to
    career progression.

Postgraduate research students and early career researchers

  • We will provide career advice sessions on the postgraduate research mentoring scheme and career talks as part of cohort activities of postgraduate research students.
  • All postgraduate research students will have access to career talks once per term.
  • We will create a training resource for all early career researchers. This will evolve over time, responding to the changing needs of this community.


Student and staff recruitment
  • We'll review, revise and evolve our marketing and promotion materials on an annual basis to encourage men and women to apply for postgraduate research degrees.
  • We'll increase awareness and uptake of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Unconscious Bias training to support the principles of equality, fairness and
    respect within WMS.
  • To improve data capture of gender identity, we have piloted a revised set of gender identity questions for inclusion in all student and staff applications – to
    include, for example, gender reassignment (transgender status), other (free text) and prefer not to say.
  • We'll engage with our postgraduate research students using a variety of approaches to identify any perceived gender-related barriers to full or part-time PGR study.

Developing our Athena SWAN procedures and activities
  • We'll review, revise, perform and analyse the annual Athena SWAN staff and student survey to inform our procedures.
  • We'll hold focus groups to inform the way we do things.
  • We'll produce quarterly reports on Athena SWAN activities and progress which will be reported to the Senior Management Group and Divisional Management Groups. This will be followed by dissemination to the wider WMS community via the website, staff meetings, induction, seminars and workshops.
  • We'll support the promotion and widespread adoption of the existing WMS exit survey and will develop an exit interview strategy to capture even more data, to be completed by HR / line managers.

Supporting new starters
  • We'll invite recently recruited staff to provide case studies for inclusion on the website and newsletters showcasing their roles, what attracted them to join WMS, and their experiences to date.
  • We'll implement a compulsory online evaluation of WMS induction initiatives, including reasons/barriers to participation in activities, to help us improve the experience for new starters moving forwards.

Flexible working and support for parents and carers
  • A priority for us is to implement an initiative to instil a supportive culture of flexible working, with a view to improving uptake of flexible working opportunities for professional and support service staff and a greater consistency of support for all. This will include developing a ‘Guidance for Flexible Working’ document to raise awareness and understanding of flexible working versus part-time working and perceived barriers amongst all staff, promoting greater clarity and transparency.
  • We are developing a new fathers’ budding scheme (‘Unidads4dads’), an extension to the ‘Returning Parents’ Mentoring Scheme’, to provide men with access to advice and signposting from other fathers. We will pilot this scheme, providing men with access to advice and information. We will evaluate uptake and satisfaction with the scheme, to inform further evolution of the scheme and wider implementation across the university.
  • We will promote use of The Care Companion resource, developed by our researchers, to staff and line managers
  • We'll identify further actions that could support staff who are parents and carers, via qualitative interviews.

Support for those affected by bereavement
  • We will provide clear information on our webpages about our policies regarding special leave arrangements and current resources, such as the multi-faith room, for those who have suffered bereavement
  • We are in the process of establishing a new Athena SWAN ‘bereavement’ working group , which will explore difficulties faced by bereaved staff and identify solutions that will be useful to these staff, such as a separate non-religious quiet room.

Menopause support
  • We'll set up a new SAT menopause focus group to engage with women who may be affected and line managers. Feedback from the focus group will inform our actions and practical resources (eg a pool of office fans for loan to those needing them).

Health and wellbeing
  • We aim to increase the number of health and wellbeing events and will encourage suggestions for new events from the WMS community.

Public engagement
  • The CPR training programme developed at WMS will be expanded nationally through workshops and peer-led training. Our medical students are highly motivated to promote this to the wider community.

Grant application support
  • We'll design and introduce a clear package of support for all staff applying for research grants. We will continue to evolve guidance and support provided, including opportunities to explore experiences of success and failure with senior staff.

Support for those working in off-site clinical locations
  • We'll seek investment to improve facilities and support structures at off-site clinical locations, for example at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, supporting video conferencing and teleconferencing into WMS meetings and lectures.