International Women’s Day Panel & Lunch

Friday March 8th was International Women’s Day with the theme; ‘Balance for Better’. What a better way to look into this topic and to make people talk about it than inviting them to a Panel & Lunch event!

We decided to approach the topic from parenting point of view; how to balance working and parenting. The panel consisted of a selection of our Professional Services staff as well as academics; a few mums, a-mum-to-be and a dad.

The panel was chaired by Athena SWAN lead Professor Sarah Vickerstaff. We were also very happy to have our VC, Karen Cox, who is also the Executive Group’s Gender Champion, taking part in the panel. I’d like to share a quote from her: ‘If you, as a parent, are happy at work, your children will be happy, too”. A special thank you to our colleagues Alison Edwards and Rob Twyman for their great contribution to the panel, too!

For the very first time a ‘Paint your parent at work’ competition was also arranged; here are some of the magnificent entries we received:


Perhaps this competition will be a yearly tradition from now on?

In addition to all mentioned above an online survey was carried out to capture our female colleagues voice regarding gender equality in the workplace. A similar went out to male colleagues in November 2018. The survey is now closed, thank you very much to everyone who contributed. The team is already looking at survey results and identifying themes that will shape Athena SWAN team’s work at the University.

The event itself was very well attended by a diverse group of University of Kent’s staff. The Athena SWAN team will keep looking further into the ‘Balance for Better’ theme; please follow also the Equality Matters blog for more information and research updates: