In 2008, a BMA report “Women in Academic Medicine - Developing equality and management for career progression” outlined the reasons why women in medicine are underrepresented in the University sector, particularly at professorial levels.
Following a series of focus groups, a number of issues mirroring those found in the 2008 report were identified in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. In response, the Women in Academic Medicine (WAM) committee was established to address issues concerning gender imbalance and to support women in academic medicine. In December 2011 the WAM committee expanded to incorporate women in science.
The core activity of the group is to provide peer support, mentoring and sponsorship to colleagues in MDS underpinned by formal events and training sessions. Key activities have included workshops on CV preparation, Promotions, Clinical Excellence Awards and Leadership opportunities such as the Aurora programme. Inspirational speakers are invited regularly from both inside and outside the Institution. Leads for Career Development and Equality work across the College, to advise individuals about promotions and to give support where funding for maternity leave is complex.
The College achieved an Athena SWAN Silver award in April 2014 under the leadership of Professor Una Martin who has recently been appointed to a University-wide role as Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equalities.