14 Aug 2020

EWM in Great Britain, 2018-2020

National initiatives

Good Practice SchemeWorkshop under the auspices of the London Mathematical Society: De Morgan House, London on 31st October 2019. The focus of the workshop was equality and diversity in connection with the Research Excellence Framework: https://www.lms.ac.uk/women/good-practice-scheme-events.

Athena Forum under the auspices of the Royal Society: The Athena Forum aims to work towards a goal of proportional democratic representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) through providing a unified voice for influencing policy and effecting cultural change: https://www.athenaforum.org.uk/about-athena-forum/.

An Athena Forum Workshop on Prizes and Awards was organised at Newcastle University, 31 March 2020. The event focussed on how to nominate people for professional prizes in an effort to expand the pool of nominators and emphasise the need for more diversity in nominees: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/athena-forum-prizes-and-awards-workshopregistration-75137649733.

Some local initiatives

May 12. Celebrating Women in Mathematics in the UK. Several screenings of ‘Secrets of the Surface”, filmed in Canada, Iran, and the United States on the life and mathematical work of the first (and to date, only) female Fields medalist Maryam Mirzakhani.

  • Edinburgh, Tue 19-05-20 at 18:00 and 19:45.
  • London, Pioneer projection, 12-05-20
  • London, Wed 01-04-20 til Fri 15-05-20
  • Sheffield, Tue 12-05-20 at 14:00 and 15;00

On Wednesday 20 May 2020, the Leeds-Bradford local group of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) hosted its president Professor Deborah Ashby, with a talk, ’Florence Nightingale, pigeon-holes and mustard seeds: Using data to improve health from the time of the Crimea to the time to the coronavirus’: https://rss.org.uk/news-publication/news-publications/2020/section-groupreports/leeds-bradford-local-group-meeting-florence-nighti/

The University of Nottingham runs the Anne McLaren Fellowship scheme, which is aimed at outstanding female scholars in science, technology, engineering and medicine, who are at the early stage of their academic careers and wish to establish a research career in the UK. The fellowships provide 3 years of independent research funding and are linked to a permanent academic position.

Current Anne McLaren fellows include Kirsty Bolton in the School of Mathematical Sciences, Catherine Harvey, Orla Williams, and Helena Gomes in the Faculty of Engineering: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/researchwithus/fellowships/nottingham/index.aspx.


Prizes awarded in the period July 2019 – June 2020 to female mathematicians working in the UK

  1. 2019 Richard Glazebrook Medal and Prize: Professor Anne-Christine Davis (University of Cambridge) for her outstanding support and leadership in physics, particularly for women and those from non-traditional backgrounds, for her leadership of the UK particle cosmology community, and her gender championship roles. Anne Davis is an outstanding particle cosmologist, who has guided this field in the UK and the careers of many generations of researchers: http://www.iop.org/about/awards/gold/glazebrook/medallists/page_72829.html.
  2. 2020 European Mathematical Society Prize: Dr Ana Caraiani (Imperial College London) in recognition of excellent contributions in classical and p-adic Langlands programs, Shimura varieties, and arithmetic geometry. Ana Caraiani received her PhD at Harvard University and held positions at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Bonn before moving to Imperial College London.
  3. 2020 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Rising Talent Prizes: Each year, five prizes are awarded to five early career (or returning to research after a break) women scientists working in the UK and Ireland. The five categories are Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, Engineering and Sustainable Development, and there is one winner per category. The 2020 recipients are
    • Dr Sarah Pickett (Newcastle University) for a project entitled ‘Understanding the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial disease’ (Life Sciences category)
    • Dr Jennifer Carter (University of Leicester) for a project entitled ‘SMILE! Taking a picture of space weather’ (Physical Sciences category)
    • Dr Joy Egede (University of Nottingham) for a project entitled ‘Automatic multimodal neonatal pain assessment’ (Maths and Computing category)
    • Dr Yijing Xie (King’s College London) for a project entitled ‘Intraoperative functional optical imaging system for maximal sage brain tumour resection’ (Engineering category)
    • Dr Aida Cuní Sanchez (York University) for a project entitled ‘ Sustainable development using indigenous trees in the Albertine rift’ (Sustainable Development category)
  4. 2020 London Mathematical Society Prizes:
    1. Frölich Prize: awarded to a mathematician with fewer than 25 years’ experience at post-doctoral level for original/innovative work in any branch of mathematics. Professor Françoise Tisseur (University of Manchester) for innovative work in nonlinear eigenvalue problems and structured matrix problems, including the development of algorithms and software.
    2. Whitehead Prize: awarded to mathematicians with fewer than 15 years’ experience at post-doctoral level for work in and influence on mathematics.
      • Dr Maria Bruna (University of Cambridge) for work related to the capture of multiscale phenomena in stochastic systems of interacting particles, with applications in mathematical biology and industrial mathematics.
      • Dr Holly Krieger (University of Cambridge) for work related to the arithmetic and algebraic aspects of families of complex dynamical systems.
  5. UK Athena Swan Awards: The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM). Awards are granted to Higher Education Institutions and Departments and are valid for three years from the announcement of the results twice a year. There are currently 45 Mathematics or Mathematical Sciences Departments holding an Athena Swan Award (37 Bronze and 8 Silver). The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Exeter received a Silver Award in the November 2019 round.

Benchmarking Survey commissioned by the London Mathematical Society

The LMS Women in Mathematics Committee and Good Practice Scheme Steering Group are pleased to present the final report from the Benchmarking Survey commissioned from Ortus Economic Research. The goal of the report was to understand the current status of women in UK mathematics departments, as well as to understand the experience that departments have had with the Athena Swan process. The report is based on an analysis of three different types of data: HESA data on proportions of women at various levels in UK HEI mathematics departments, Athena Swan applications contributed by 33 UK mathematics departments, and interviews with eight individuals involved with the Athena Swan process in their departments.

The Benchmarking Survey is available at https://www.lms.ac.uk/sites/lms.ac.uk/files/files/Benchmarking%20Report%20FINAL.pdf and contains, in particular, a quantitative analysis of data relating to mathematical sciences students and academic staff at the national level, based primarily on aggregate data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), as well as data from the Joint Council for Qualifications.

The report presents a time-series analysis of gender diversity among mathematical sciences students, and among academic staff in the mathematics cost centre, over the period from 2011/12 to 2016/17. For instance, the number of women in academic positions in the mathematics cost centre in UK universities has increased over that period. The proportion of lecturers and senior lecturers in the mathematics cost centre who are female has remained constant at 23% since 2011/12. 23% of researchers in the mathematics cost centre in 2016/17 are female, up from 21% in 2011/12 but unchanged since 2012/13. 11% of professors in the mathematics cost centre are female in 2016/17, compared with 7% in 2011/12. Trends in gender diversity in the mathematical sciences are examined in more detail in the chapter entitled ‘Gender in Mathematics – quantitative analysis’ (page 12).