Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity

Women are represented in diminishing proportions as career levels progress, and significant numbers leave science altogether. As Europe’s premier centre for bioinformatics, we are committed to achieving excellence in science, and to creating and sustaining a culture in which diversity and equality are promoted and celebrated.

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Zachary O'Sullivan
Equality and Diversity Officer

Lindsey Crosswell
Head of External Relations

The Equality in Science Programme

The Equality in Science Programme  is a joint initiative of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, EMBL-EBI and other bodies on the Wellcome Genome Campus. Originally established as Sex in Science in 2011, Equality in Science aims to generate discussion and raises awareness about issues traditionally facing women and marginalised groups in science, and to drive policy and practice changes to redress them.

We organise a wide range of regular events and activities, such as workshops, careers days, discussion panels, debates and theatrical plays. For International Women’s Day 2014, we announced the winner of the first annual Wellcome Genome Campus Best Practice Award for Supporting Women in Science, and this award is now an annual event.

We invite inspirational scientists and opinion leaders to share their perspective on the societal, cultural and personal issues facing women, men and marginalised groups in science. Monthly seminars and workshops have covered topics such as work-life balance, the gender balance in IT and mentoring. Careers Day focuses on areas such as paths to independence and making the transition between industry and academia.

Laura Liswood speaking

Equality and Diversity Working Group at EMBL-EBI

The Equality and Diversity Working Group at EMBL-EBI progresses initiatives that aim to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in scientific careers, both generally and at the institute. 

The Working Group aims to:

  • Raise awareness among staff and leadership at EMBL-EBI of specific issues facing women (and increasingly men) in science at EMBL-EBI, as well as other under-represented groups;

  • Address and challenge unconscious bias and preconceptions, established practices and the status quo;

  • Work to make recommendations for the removal of obstacles and the establishment of appropriate policy changes at EMBL to inspire all women and men at different stages of their scientific careers to progress to senior levels;

  • Foster constructive discussion about diversity, equality and inclusion issues at all levels of EMBL-EBI and within the wider EMBL;

  • Inform and drive change in current practices and policy at the institutional level;

  • Explore funding opportunities and collaborative possibilities to progress the gender and diversity debate at EMBL and with external stakeholders;

  • Ensure that activities in these areas are communicated internally and externally through discussion, presentations and the web at all levels.

Bronwen Aken, Team Leader at EMBL-EBI

EMBL Equality and Diversity Committee

EMBL’s Equality and Diversity Committee actively promotes diversity throughout EMBL. It generates discussion, raises awareness of equality and diversity issues, and contributes to developing policy and strategy.

The goals of the committee are to:

  • Foster an environment that values and supports equality and diversity;

  • Achieve equality and diversity among EMBL hires;

  • Prepare EMBL personnel to act as role models in an equal, diverse research environment, within and beyond EMBL.

Entrepreneurs and leaders in genomics

Watch a selection of recordings of our latest guest speakers:

Dame Julia Higgins
Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Engineering at Imperial College London (2018)

Professor Ottoline Leyser
Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge (2017)