Equitable actions

September 5, 2003

Not every woman at Imperial College works in a culture that makes her feel unwelcome and undervalued ("Imperial under fire on equality", THES, August 1).

Imperial is not perfect, but your report is misleading. The college has just won an Athena project "best practice" award for the work of its academic opportunities committee. This has the remit of creating a "level playing field" for women academics.

Imperial has established research fellowships for women returning from maternity leave to provide them with relief from teaching and administration for six months so they can reestablish their research. It has surveyed salary levels and promotion procedures, generated the Imperial College Pledge to Women Academics - and more. Hardly the actions of an organisation unconcerned about equity.

Dorothy Griffiths
Deputy principal
Business School

Mary Ritter
Director, Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine
Imperial College London

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