Equality and diversity

The Academy of Medical Sciences is committed to encouraging diversity and equality of opportunity in the organisation, practices and work of the Academy.

This applies to every sphere of Academy activity. We will strive to ensure that no individual or group is treated more or less favourably than others on grounds of ethnicity, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, religion or belief.

The Academy's current Diversity Champions are Professor Jane Norman FMedSci and Professor Jim Smith FRS FMedSci. Their role is to advise the Academy, and lead on the development of new initiatives

In 2012 the Academy’s Council asked Professor Ros Smyth CBE FMedSci to establish a task force to examine the representation of women in the Academy’s Fellowship. The report of the task force was originally designed to inform the internal working processes of the Academy. However, we believe that an integral aspect of improving diversity is through sharing examples of success, and importantly, openly acknowledging where there is still crucial work to be done. As such, the Academy has published the report on the data of our Fellowship in the hope that it will contribute to wider debate around what can be done to improve diversity and the representation of women in the biomedical workforce.

On the basis of the recommendations of the task force, in November 2012 the Academy established a new proactive nominations committee to support the Academy’s Fellowship elections and to encourage nomination of candidates from all underrepresented areas.

The Fellowship Committee is chaired by the Academy’s Registrar, Professor Moira Whyte FMedSci, and includes the following Fellows:
• Sir Cyril Chantler FMedSci
• Dr Richard Horton FMedSci
• Professor Ron Laskey FRS FMedSci
• Professor Ros Smyth CBE FMedSci
• Professor Caroline Savage FMedSci

The Committee will ensure that the pool of candidates proposed for election to the Academy is drawn from the breadth of medical science, and is as diverse as possible with regard to gender, ethnicity, age and geography.

In August 2013, the Academy submitted evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry ‘Women in STEM careers’ (available to download).

In June 2015, the Academy announced the first twenty participants in SUSTAIN, a programme supporting women researchers in independent research careers. The programme provides an innovative programme of training and support to develop participants’ leadership and career potential. The next round will be announced in June 2016.

In November 2015, the Academy held an Open Space meeting for women Fellows, to discuss new ways to support gender equality in bioscience careers, and address challenges faced by women working in research. A full report of the meeting is now available to download.

The Academy is represented on the Athena Forum and is considering various further ways in which we might contribute to increasing diversity in the biomedical sciences. For further information contact rachel.macdonald@acmedsci.ac.uk.

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