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Female academics bear brunt of push for change, paper says

Men need to be more involved in the push for systemic change in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to a paper published in the Lancet journal.

The Athena SWAN gender-equality charter can sometimes have a negative impact on female researchers due to the amount of time needed to engage with and promote the charter’s work, say the authors of a viewpoint published in The Lancet on 7 February. The article explores the work of both Athena SWAN and the United States’ ADVANCE programme.

The authors acknowledge that evaluating the effect of both initiatives is difficult as cause and effect are not always easily linked. For institution-wide change to take place, the authors recommend that the pro vice-chancellor or president must be highly invested in the project. There also needs to be balanced representation of women in management.

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