Please comment on these new survey questions:

These questions are based on the university’s template although we’ve added some.  What do we need to change, adapt or add?

Workplace culture
1. Irrespective of their gender, where I work staff are treated on their merits.
2. Irrespective of gender, successes and achievements of all staff are celebrated in my school.
3. Decision making in the SoE is transparent.
4. In the SoE, visible role models such as speakers and chairpersons (e.g. in examination boards, conferences, seminars, workshops, staff induction and recruitment events), give the impression of an equiatable gender balance.
5. In the SoE, meetings are timed to enable those with caring responsibilities or flexible working patterns to attend .
6. I think timing important SoE meetings within core hours (e.g. 10am to 4pm) is a good idea whenever possible.
7. Social activities are scheduled at an appropriate time to allow people with caring responsibilities to participate .
8. The SoE makes it clear that inappropriate language and/or behaviour are not acceptable (e.g. condescending or intimidating language, ridicule, stereotyping people, bullying).
9. If I were to be treated unfavourably because of my gender, I would feel comfortable making a complaint and would know how to complain.
10. I would feel comfortable reporting an incident if I witnessed someone being treated unfavourably because of their gender, and would know how to complain.
11. My induction to the university was ‘fit for purpose’ and took account of my needs.
12. In my induction to the university, I was made aware of the university’s core values.
13. In my induction to the university, I was made aware of the university’s commitment to equality and diversity.
14. I came into my current post from a visiting lecturer position and feel that I was inducted in the same way as someone new to the university.
15. If you have been treated unfavourably in your school on the basis of your gender (including when this was compounded by another protected characteristics e.g. age, pregnancy and maternity, race) please comment on the ways in which you think the school can prevent such behaviours happening in future.
16. Please suggest any ways in which your school could promote a more inclusive working culture  .
Career development 
17. I have received a staff development review in the past 12 months.
18. My staff development review was useful in reviewing my workload, performance and future objectives.
19. I am encouraged to take up mentoring opportunities (as a mentee).
20. I am encouraged to take up career development opportunities by my manager and/or the school more widely e.g. participating in conferences, sitting on school or external committees/boards/working groups, attending networking events.
21. I sit on a committee in my school, or at university level.
22. I sit on an external influential committee such as a charity management committee or national working group.
 23. There is fair access to training opportunities for everyone in my school.
24. In my school, staff who work part-time or flexibly are offered the same career development opportunities as those who work full time.
25. If you have attended the university’s Springboard Programme, please tell us whether it has made a difference to your work.
26. Please suggest any ways in which your school could promote a more inclusive approach to career development.
27.  In the SoE , work is allocated to staff on a fair and transparent basis.
28. I have been given opportunities to express my views about the work that is allocated to me.
29. Work I do outside of my contracted hours is recognised and appreciated by my manager/school.
30. My workload is manageable.
31. I feel confident that I can decide not to attend to emails outside of my work hours.
32. I am given disproportionate responsibilities for any of the following: Teaching, Research, Placement Visits, Administrative, cross-school duties, or other. Please comment.
33. Please suggest any ways in which your school could promote a more inclusive approach to workload planning.
34. I receive support and encouragement from the SoE to apply for promotion or internal jobs.
35. When I applied for promotion in the SoE , I was successful.
36. When I applied for promotion in the SoE , I was unsuccessful.
37. I applied for promotion a number of times before I was successful.
38. When I applied for promotion in my school, I received appropriate and useful feedback. Please comment.
39.  Everyone has fair and equal access to promotion opportunities in my school.
40. Please comment on the process of applying for promotion.
41. If you haven’t put yourself forward for promotion, why? Please comment.
42. Recruitment decision making panels in my school have an even gender balance.
43. I understand why positive action may be required to  promote gender equality. Please define or give an example that shows your understanding.
44. If you have attended the university’s Springboard Programme, please tell us whether it has made a difference to your work.
45. In  areas of the SoE’s work where there is a gender imbalance,  positive action is used to try to even up the imbalance.
46. Please suggest any ways in which your school could promote a more inclusive approach to applying for promotion.
Flexible working 
47. I am aware of how to request flexible working (e.g. part-time work, job share).
48. The SoE’s flexible working practices work well.
49. Flexible working is supported in the SoE.
50. I work flexibly (e.g. flexible work pattern, term-time working, working from my home, compressed hours).
51. I have decided not to request to work part-time or flexibly because I feel this would negatively affect my career e.g. taking longer to progress.
52. Please suggest any ways in which your school could promote a more inclusive approach to flexible working.
Access to family leave – maternity, adoption, parental and paternity leave 
53. I have received adequate support from the SoE leading up to maternity, adoption, parental or paternity leave.
54. I feel that there is sufficient flexibility and support to enable me to fulfil caring and/or childcare responsibilities, both planned and unplanned.
55. I have been/was kept up to date with work developments (e.g. using Keep In Touch days, Shared Parental In Touch days) during my maternity/adoption/shared parental leave.
56. I have received adequate support from the SoE when returning from maternity, adoption, parental or paternity leave.
57. I believe that taking maternity/adoption/shared parental leave has had a negative impact on my career e.g. ability to apply for promotion.
58. Do you have any suggestions based on your own personal experiences of taking maternity, adoption, shared parental leave or paternity leave for improving SoE practice around this?

Thank you!

Read 6 comments

  1. From Sophie Dubber:
    As discussed at the meeting, these questions are designed specifcally for teaching staff, as SASS are only looking at academic members of staff. As the SoE has agreed that our Athena Swan bid should look at both Academic and Support staff, we discussed that a question at the beginning of the survey could lead on to a different set of questions for teaching and admin staff.

    Although, looking at the questions below, they could just be reworded so they apply to all? Suggestions below:

    Question 9 would not be relevant to support staff as there is no promotion process. Although it might be interesting to get a perspective on how support staff felt about the lack of this ?
    Question 14 – “Do you feel valued for your contribution to your School?” (I.e doesnt have to specify teaching)
    Question 15 is also not relevant as we are not timetabled for teaching. But could just relate to both if you reword to “how does timetabling of work commitments and meetings impact your work/life balance?”
    Question 17 – Admin staff do not have workload allocation or FSTs – but it still might be interesting to see the admin perspective of how support work is allocated, and whether it’s agreed that this is done fairly.

    It might still be useful to disclose at the beginning of the survey whether you are academic or support staff – variations in results may be interesting?

  2. From Sara Bragg:

    Thoughts on Athena Swan survey
    In general with surveys, I think there are some basic rules:

    – know EXACTLY what you will do with the information you get, before you disseminate. So we need to anticipate answers as a team, check, then pilot, check again, etc. Ask if the possible range of answers we might get will be meaningful and powerful. This is why surveys in my view should come much later on in the process….

    – Make sure it covers all the possible bases of our future work. In this case, eg, I know Athena Swan has been used to make a case for subsidised childcare facilities, for example, so I wonder why there’s no question on that. What about experiences of harassment or bullying, including those too low-level to have reported? And I am sure there are lots of others. It’s important that we don’t send this out until we feel it’s comprehensive.

    – Don’t ask something that ‘data’ will give anyway. For instance, will we have data on composition of committees? In which case why ask Q3 Do you think there is a good balance of genders on School committees? – and what would we do with those findings anyway eg if 30% of people said yes, 30% no and 40% don’t know, what conclusions would we draw?

    – Make it easy for people to respond. We may want to give them open text boxes for comments, but also to have options that they can quickly tick if short of time. Sliding scales etc – not sure if these are planned, or if they are going to be yes/ no answers? A lot of these questions require a lot of time to respond to, which can often mean people giving up on the survey altogether…

    – This also means explaining what we mean. For example, AS is also used to support staff in challenging demands placed on them that are not family friendly, or work-life balance friendly. Examples might be teaching scheduled for 9am or until later evening more than 2/3 days in a row, or meetings consistently planned outside family-friendly hours of 10 – 4pm. So we could be more precise in asking questions about that rather than the vaguer Q15?

    – We might want to include a question about disability issues / disability leave, not just sick leave.

    – Think about the correlations we need to draw, to know what kind of demographic data we need to collect. This could be gender, age, role, whether the person has children or other caring duties, whether they are full time or part time, whether they have a disability, etc etc. Unless we know who’s responding we won’t be able to make meaning out of some of these answers…

    I met some people who had used AS very successfully last week, so have got in touch with them for their advice. I thought that there were staff surveys already developed that we were going to be using???

  3. Q1 – re flexible working. This question assumes that the request for flexible working has been agreed. I think we need a question before this that is about the process of requesting flexible working – is it fair and transparent and are requests dealt with consistently for all staff.

    • Totally agree Erica – having no set process in place other than asking for flexible working from a line manager, is open to different decisions being made for difference people on different days. My understanding is that there is no formal HR proces for agreeing flexible working and that they have little or no records of this per school. It could certainly be part of the AS Bronze Action Plan to create a fair and reliable way of getting an equal outcome for all who ask for this to be considered.

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