Passion for gender equity inspires international partnership to promote Women in Science



Women scientists at LJMU have won a grant to share our institutional learnings on gender equality with partner institutions in Brazil.

This Institutional Award was submitted by a team from the Faculty of Science in answer to The British Council’s Women in Science: UK-Brazil Gender Equality Partnership Call.

The successful award will see LJMU and their partners, the University of São Paulo and the Catholic University of Pernambuco, share learning to promote gender equality in academic opportunity via the SHAPE Project.

Our LJMU based team aim to:

  • empower women academics through training, workshops, self-directed activity and mentorship;
  • establish a meaningful inter/national network of support, and
  • build stronger links between UK and Brazilian women scientists and institutions.

Pursue promotion and leadership roles

Dr Tori Sprung, of the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, in the Faculty of Science, said: “Ultimately, this consortium will influence Brazilian institutional policies that promote diversity in science, inspired by our models in LJMU. Long term, we aspire to encourage women in STEMM at our partner institutions to pursue promotion and lead successful teams.”

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences was the first LJMU school to be awarded AthenaSWAN charter status, in 2019, followed by the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences in 2021.

Professor Leonie Sarubbo, an environmental engineer at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, said: We are excited to learn from LJMU colleagues in this arena and potentially encourage collaborations for our women staff in other areas of LJMU. We hope this project can help us implement policies and practices to promote our progression towards gender equity.”

Vera Oliveira, Senior Manager of Higher Education & Science, at The British Council, added: We expect this project to generate sustainable partnerships, to build stronger links between women academics in Brazil and in the UK, and to stimulate the creation of internal policies to increase diversity in Brazilian universities.”

Positive role models

Pro-Vice Chancellor Phil Vickerman said:LJMU are committed to advancing opportunities for women in science and this international collaboration is an outstanding example of work undertaken in the Faculty of Science. It is vital we have positive role models to demonstrate we are serious about our equality, diversity, and inclusion principles. I am confident this international collaboration will advance all our learning – and importantly change practice and the need to act upon the findings.”

The project is coordinated from staff in The Faculty of Science, namely; Drs Tori Sprung & Nicola Hopkins (SPS) and Drs Komang Ralebitso Senior and Ale Diaz (PBS).



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