Yeah, it's very simple. Athena Swan was created to improve outcomes for women in STEM. That's not, "the people in STEM who like to wear dresses and have long hair". It's the people, like myself, who can't join in with the lab social event when it's a 12-pub bar crawl in a bad part of town. The people who can't make progress in their research for nearly 9 months of a 3-year training program because it's dangerous to work in the lab while pregnant. The people who inevitably drop out of the pipeline to leadership because they have young children, their partner works 9-hour days, and someone needs to do the grocery shopping.

It's a betrayal and makes a mockery of institutions who are really trying to improve things for women.

Damn straight. Would you write a post about your experiences and experiences of women you know who are having these problems? How can we fight back? Is there a fund I can donate to?

Yeah, it's something that had been improving gradually but will stall if we don't keep on top of it. Some of the people studying the issues seem ridiculously naive as well; they talk about "the leaky pipeline" where female trainees start dropping out around age 25 and by late 30s most of them are gone from academia. Well, what do most women do between 25 and 40 that might affect their career?!

They offer grants to help people get back in but it's stupid, you have to spend time you don't have writing an application which might get rejected all while not being paid. And of course universities are in the middle of cities with no parking, and it's just impossible to get two kids to school, do a full working day and then get the shopping on the way home all by bus unless you live in the most expensive part of town.

Yeah, I could go on for a long time lol. I don't know about any funds, Athena Swan has been widely supported but clearly they're losing their way. But lots of academics are on Twitter so calling them out for this BS might actually be quite effective.

Remember when kids used to get to school on their own? The world has really changed when that has become yet another problem for mums to deal with.

The point about parking and traffic is something I'd never thought of. I remember reading an article about a city that had women on the town planning committee and this is the sort of practical nitty-gritty they were thinking of. How do you manage with prams? Are there lots of places to sit down? Trees for shade? Public toilets? No high kerbs? Public transport hub nearby with covered waiting area? Where are the schools? Strong lighting at night? And so on. Rather than fancy-pants "high-concept" stuff that looks good on the drawing-board. Of course now I can't find the damn article.