Perceptions of gender equity and markers of achievement in a National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre: a qualitative study

Article


Henderson, L., Dam, R., Shah, S., Ovseiko, P. and Kiparoglou, V. 2022. Perceptions of gender equity and markers of achievement in a National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre: a qualitative study. Health Research Policy and Systems. 20 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-022-00904-4
TypeArticle
TitlePerceptions of gender equity and markers of achievement in a National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre: a qualitative study
AuthorsHenderson, L., Dam, R., Shah, S., Ovseiko, P. and Kiparoglou, V.
Abstract

Background: The need to improve gender equity (GE) in academic medicine is well documented. Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), partnerships between leading National Health Service (NHS) organizations and universities in England, conduct world-class translational research funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In 2011, eligibility for BRC funding was restricted to universities demonstrating sustained GE success recognized by the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science Silver awards. Despite this structural change, GE research in BRC settings is underdeveloped, yet critical to the acceleration of women’s advancement and leadership. To explore both women’s and men’s perceptions of GE and current markers of achievement in a BRC setting.

Methods: Thematic analysis of data from two research projects: 53 GE survey respondents’ free-text comments (34 women, 16 men), and 16 semi-structured interviews with women affiliated to the NIHR Oxford BRC.

Results:@ Four major themes emerged from the analysis: perceptions of the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science (GE policy); views on monitoring GE in BRCs; views on current markers of achievement in academia and GE; and recommendations for actions to improve GE in BRC settings. Monitoring of GE in BRCs was deemed to be important, but complex. Participants felt that current markers of achievement were not equitable to women, as they did not take contextual factors into account such as maternity leave and caring responsibilities. BRC-specific organizational policies and metrics are needed in order to monitor and catalyse GE.

Conclusions: Markers of achievement for monitoring GE in BRCs should consider contextual factors specific to BRCs and women’s career progression and professional advancement. GE markers of achievement should be complemented with broader aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion.

KeywordsGender equity; Athena SWAN; Academic medicine; Equality and diversity; National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR); Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs)
Sustainable Development Goals5 Gender equality
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
PublisherBioMed Central
JournalHealth Research Policy and Systems
ISSN
Electronic1478-4505
Publication dates
Online24 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Submitted25 May 2022
Accepted26 Aug 2022
Deposited25 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-022-00904-4
Web of Science identifierWOS:000857827400001
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