School of Science

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

Women In Science blog

Our Women In Science Ambassador shares her experiences of life as a Loughborough science student.

Celebrating the Athena SWAN bronze award

This is just one of the many initiatives the SoS is undertaking, and I believe it really shows how seriously we are taking this and what a big impact we are really trying to make here.

The School of Science (SoS) here at Loughborough University can proudly announce it has received the Athena SWAN bronze award. This award is given to schools/departments in recognition of the efforts made to combat gender inequality, and are awarded in bronze, silver and gold.

To gain the award, members of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team (which I was a part of) looked at the numbers of students and staff and focussed on areas which were doing well in gender balance and areas which were perhaps lacking. It was my first time seeing such a process being carried out, and it was a long one. It took many drafts of the same document with several adjustments so that it represented all departments in the SoS. It was most certainly worth it in every aspect, in that it brought to light any problems we may be facing as well as highlight where we have been doing well and why that is. Reflection is a key part to making progress, and that was really valued here.

Another part of the award is developing initiatives and action plans to improve areas of concern. An example of that is my own Women in Science ambassador scholarship programme. We will shortly be welcoming another ambassador this year that will help promote and support women in science at Loughborough. By making ourselves present at open days and by keeping this blog active, I’m really hoping to contribute to an increase in female applicants and be able to show prospective students how welcoming it is to study STEM here at Loughborough University. I’m also hoping to keep that same drive going in current female STEM students by promoting various events throughout the year.

There are so many different aspects of what I do that I hope will make a difference. However, this is just one of the many initiatives the SoS is undertaking, and I believe it really shows how seriously we are taking this and what a big impact we are really trying to make here. Not only do we have to promote an interest in STEM for women, but also keep that interest going so we don’t lose it as the years pass by. I feel proud to be a part of the efforts being made to address gender equality in the SoS. 

About Katrina

"My name is Katrina Cranfield and I am the Women in Science Ambassador. I’m half British half Portuguese, and spent the last 7 years living in Hong Kong.  I’ve now come to Loughborough to start my undergraduate degree in Chemistry, and as the Women in Science Ambassador I hope to evolve the way Loughborough welcomes women into STEM through my own student perspectives."

Katrina was selected to be the School of Science Women in Science Ambassador on the strength of her academic results, supporting statement and performance at interview. Over the coming year she will be blogging for us, as well as fulfilling her role representing women in science on our School social media channels, open days and other events. Katrina is interested in engaging with current students and prospective students who have any questions and concerns about being a female student in STEM at university. If you would like to ask her a question, please email her.  The best questions may form the basis of future blog posts, but they will be anonymised and we will seek permission first.