Week 4: Women in SET (resources)

The Resource Centre

There is a UK Resource Centre for women in SET – set up as a result of the recommendations in the Greenfield report, I presume.

Part of this week’s activities is to explore the site for information of relevance.

I’m finding the site difficult to navigate: the search function simply gives a list of hits without any context, and it can be tricky to work out where you are in a subject tree. It’s a Government department, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. The website of the Scottish Office is similarly arcane. That said, there is a lot of good information, and the possibility of applying to join a mentoring scheme as well as to ask for specific help and advice, so I will be going back to the site over the next few days.

We are supposed to find a discussion area specific to this course, which I have done. I can’t see anything of relevance there at all, but perhaps it will become clearer in time.

Professional Bodies

We’re also supposed to contact any relevant professional associations if they appear to have networks or subgroups of interest to women in SET. I’m a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and they have a Women’s Network as well as a local Section for Edinburgh and South East Scotland. The Edinburgh section doesn’t appear to have any activities scheduled on the RSC website, and my request for information on the next Women’s Network event in Cumbria has also resulted in dead silence. I will try old technology next, and telephone.

One unfortunate feature of the RSC is that their ‘career break’ category of membership only applies to those:

The RSC offers a reduced rate of membership for up to 7 years for those members taking a career break to bring up a young family and not receiving any income from the chemical sciences (in the sense that the subscription no longer qualifies for income tax relief) – contact our Membership Administration for more details.

My next step is to investigate the Biochemical Society as my PhD was awarded in that field. We will see if they are any better at responding to emails….

March 9th and finally a response from the Biochemical Society:

“The career break membership is only available to existing members you cannot actually join at
this level, it is also only available for one year.”

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