Q. How long have you been at Leeds Beckett University and what is your background?
A. I have been an employee for 31 years, starting from the completion of my PhD research at the University of Leeds. I joined the (then) Leeds Polytechnic as a “Lecturer – grade II”. Since then I have gained promotion through Senior Lecturer, then via competitive interviews to Principal Lecturer, Professor, Head of School and am currently Dean of School.
Q. Please describe your current role at Leeds Beckett and your role as a member of the Athena SWAN SAT Team
A. I am Dean of School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering; the School is central to our Athena SWAN submission, and I am a member of the SAT team and a member of the Data working group.
Q. What are your thoughts on gender equality?
A. I would very much like to see a gender-equal society. However it is not going to happen soon, and not without a great deal of effort.
Q. What do you think the University should be doing to support gender equality and empower both men and women in their roles?
A. The current approaches should be continued, however like all areas of education, the University has a role to play in looking beyond its own bounds and being an exemplar/role model for others.
Q. Do you feel that, in general, men and women are treated equally in the workplace?
Q. Do you think gender equality is a concern for men as well as women?
Q. What do you think is the biggest obstacle for gender equality in the workplace today?
A. Years of history and ingrained behaviours/expectations.
Q. What do you think the University trying to achieve by submitting for the Athena SWAN bronze award? What are they key priorities?
A. The University is demonstrating its commitment to moving towards gender equality. Achievement of the award would be a first step, but would only identify the actions needed; the key priorities are to deliver those actions.
Q. Does any of your research link to gender equality?
A. Not as a part of the subject matter, however two of the first three PhD completions I supervised were women, and I am currently supervising three female PhD candidates.
The university is submitting a submission for Athena Swan bronze in recognition of its work to address gender equality.