The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities that already existed in academia. Emerging evidence shows that researchers with caring responsibilities - the majority of whom are women, earlier career researchers trying to establish themselves, and researchers from ethnic minority groups are more likely be impacted.
This further emphasises the urgency of making a positive change to the academic environment. The evidence should be used as a reminder that inequalities are still very much present and that we must take this opportunity to approach them, making sure the “new normal” post pandemic is equal, just and fair.
On this page we have collated resources, many from other organisations. The Academy is a member of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS) and The Proud Science Alliance.
[Page last updated 09 June 2021]
Dr Nisreen Alwan is Associate Professor in Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. In this video, she outlines why we need to change the language we use to think about issues of fairness, justice and equality.
Read her full BMJ blog: 'Let's equalise our antiracist language'.
Have you checked out our #MedSciLife stories? A life outside science is not an extra, but an integral part of who we are as researchers. #MedSciLife brings together personal stories of those working in medical and health research to promote different working practices and explore how passions and achievements outside work can influence careers.
Dr Li Chan, a Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Endocrinology at Queen Mary University of London, talks about learning to be a working mother which forced her to re-evaluate her priorities.
Professor Muzlifah Haniffa FMedSci, a Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at Newcastle University, suggests asking organisations to pay for childcare when being asked to travel for meetings and about the difficulties of being a woman of colour in the academic biomedical sciences sector.
“What Black scientists want from colleagues and their institutions”. Nature spoke to six Black academic researchers about the effects of racism on their careers, their advice to white colleagues and their thoughts on meaningful institutional actions.
500 Queer Scientists is a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM and STEM-supporting jobs. Their goal is to:
- Ensure the next STEM generation has LGBTQ+ role models
- Help the current generation recognise they’re not alone
- Create opportunities for community connections and greater visibility within STEM
"Staying Power: The career experiences and strategies of UK Black female professors". This research by Dr Nicola Rollock is the first known UK study to exclusively focus on the career experiences of Black female Professors and their efforts to reach professorship. The study examines, through one-to-one interviews, the experiences of 20 of the 25 UK Black female Professors. Black in this context refers to those of African, Caribbean and other Black background.
You can find out about the Academy’s work, including annual diversity reports, ongoing involvements and partner organisations.
The Proud Science Alliance is a collective of healthcare and life sciences sector LGBTQ+ networks who work together to raise the bar on LGBTQ+ inclusion within their organisations and the sector as a whole. Watch The I in PRIDE webcast series below.
'COVID-19 and Inequalities: Evidence, insights and recommendations for inclusive decision making'. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS) have produced this document which aims to help organisations think through how COVID might be affecting their staff.
EDIS have also published diversity monitoring data collection tips with downloadable guidance.
Advance HE have published their latest national staff equality data report for higher education institutions. The report aims to assist the sector in better understanding the main equality challenges for staff and students, directing future efforts to overcome them. The publication presents a snapshot of the age, disability, ethnicity and gender of the higher education workforce, as well as the interplay of these identities.
If you are experiencing bullying/harassment and/or discrimination, the Royal Society of Chemistry have launched a support line for the chemical sciences community.
They have also released the animation below introducing the key concepts surrounding bullying and harassment in the workplace, to help promote understanding and raise awareness of these issues.
Nature have also published a career feature on 'How to blow the whistle on an academic bully'. The piece contains more information on recognising and reacting to abuse, and protecting yourself in the process.
WISE enables and energises people in business, industry and education to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in STEM. They run events and training courses for women seeking to overcome barriers as well as organisations seeking to improve in the area of equality. WISE have also curated a list of 'Women in STEM Networks'. Find more information about the campaign here.
"Pursuing Racial Justice within Higher Education: Is Conflict Inevitable?". This chapter on page 149, written by Nicola Rollock from the book titled "Knowledge, Policy and Practice in Education and the Struggle for Social Justice", discusses 35 reasons how white academics have privilege in higher education.
The Inclusion Group for Equity In Research STEMM (TIGERS) is a group of UK-based STEMM professionals and students who are passionate about improving equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. TIGERS have curated a range of resources which speak to equalities for parents and carers, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation/identity and more.
BBSTEM is a non-profit organisation campaigning for balance and representation of Black individuals in science, technology, engineering and maths. Visit the BBSTEM website to find out more and join the BBSTEM network.
Parenting for Lifelong Health provides open-access online parenting resources during COVID-19. The parenting resources include tips for parenting teens, keep calm and managing stress, family harmony at home, and many more.
The advice sheet, “When your parent is a key worker - advice for children and young people”, from the British Psychology Society is aimed at children and designed to answer any questions they may have. It explains what a key worker is and why they have to spend so much time at work right now and encourages young people to talk to their parents when they’re feeling worried.
NHS Employers in partnership with the NHS Confederations' Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network hosted a virtual event to explore the inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ healthcare staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this session the speakers discussed the actions that can be taken to tackle some of these issues and the positive steps being taken by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and other organisations to improve healthcare for LGBTQ+ people.
"Coronavirus lockdown lessons from single-parent scientists". In this Nature article, researchers share tips on how to juggle career obligations alongside childcare and home-schooling.