Good Practice

Selected Actions from our November 2014 Athena SWAN Bronze Submission

Unconscious Bias training

We have been offering staff at the University of Hertfordshire Unconscious Bias training since October 2014. These workshops are designed to raise awareness of how unconscious bias can affect the way we interact with staff and students. We will continue to roll out unconscious bias training and work with our STEMM Schools to ensure participation targets are met. Unconscious bias training will also be included in staff induction checklists.

Support for staff on fixed-term contracts

We are currently reviewing communications sent to line managers and staff to identify how we can further support individuals approaching the end of their fixed-term contracts. Support will include (a) locally assigned mentors; (b) advice on how to take advantage of coaching conversations; and (c) the value of the 'Developing My Career' course which introduces participants to a career management model and other tools for thinking through their career development and aspirations.

Progression pathways and promotion stories

The University has been carrying out research on career pathways in order to present this information in a more accessible manner to staff. This guidance on progression pathways is informed by interviews with staff who have undergone different promotion processes and to different grades/roles. The interviews explore activities and opportunities individuals have undertaken which have enabled them to progress in their careers. Selected interviews will be incorporated into a booklet so that this information will become available to all staff at the University.

Promotion workshops

We are creating Promotion Workshops which will be advertised in a targeted manner to female members of staff. Our aim is for workshops to be attended by 30% of female staff in STEMM and we hope to see a 20% increase in successful applications for promotion as a result of this.

Briefing for line managers (parental leave)

We are developing guidance for line managers which will cover the following areas: (a) keeping individuals on parental leave informed of significant developments in the workplace (such as job opportunities); (b) covering absences; and (c) facilitating successful return to work.

Drop-in sessions for new parents

The Equality Office will host drop-in sessions for new parents returning to work (starting October 2015). The purpose of these sessions will be to enable new parents to discuss any issues they have relating to their return to work with someone from outside their School.

Women in STEMM network

The Women in STEMM network was established in April 2014 and will continue to host events to enhance the experience and careers of female academics and celebrate their achievements. Events will include coffee mornings, training sessions, talks on research opportunities and achieving a work-life balance. We also plan to carry out a needs analysis to identify further training required.