These monthly newsletters aim to keep all member networks updated with news describing how to get involved, as well as information of relevant events, services and new initiatives from the RSC Networks team. If you require further information about any of the items in the newsletter, or have any comments or ideas for content please contact the Networks team.

Committee members and representatives are encouraged to disseminate this information, as appropriate, to colleagues and other members. E-alert request forms can be downloaded from the Useful Forms and Documents page. Up to date lists of members can be obtained by emailing the Networks Team.

Beyond breaking the barriers

Pip Matthews gives an update on the latest developments from our Diversity team, plus tips and tricks to help you embed inclusion and diversity in your activities. To find out more about our diversity activities, contact the Diversity team.
Since we launched our Breaking the barriers report in November, we have been working hard to develop our next steps and work to tackle some of the barriers we identified to progression and retention of women in the chemical sciences.

The difficulty in balancing work life against expectations that women take on the majority of caring responsibilities come out of the research as a major factor in women’s career decisions. So, to make things easier we have launched our Grants for Carers. These grants will award anyone with caring responsibilities up to £1000 a year to enable them to attend a chemistry related meeting conference or workshop, or a professional development opportunity.

There’s no one type of care that fits all, which is why our grants are flexible, to be used however works for you to enable you to develop your career. It’s not just for childcare – we cover any types of dependents.

We have opened our grants up to all chemists in the UK, and RSC members worldwide. You can make multiple applications (adding to the total of £1000) so the fund can be used for committee meetings and regional events. There are no gender restrictions either - these grants are for men too! We want everyone to be able to balance a home life and their career.

Find more details, and the application form on our website.

Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ physical scientists

Despite progress, many LGBT+ physical scientists have experienced or observed exclusionary behaviour in the workplace. Feelings of discomfort are not necessarily the result of overt negativity, some of the actions that cause them might be almost imperceptible, or easily ignored.

There’s a wealth of evidence that science benefits from a diversity of thought, experience and background. Yet our workplaces are not always the inclusive environments we need to foster a diverse workforce. Tackling the barriers that LGBT+ physical scientists face can create broader benefits.

No one is definable by a single characteristic – we are all complex individuals subject to a whole host of different influences. But, to create an environment where the best scientists can flourish and the best science can be done, we need to make sure everyone feels comfortable.

If we can do that, it won’t just benefit our LGBT+ colleagues, but everyone in our workplaces.

Find more details, and the full report on our website, or download some of our inclusion and diversity resources to use when running events, managing committees and communicating information.

Tips and tricks for an inclusive committee

Finding a diverse pool of speakers and committee members can be a challenge. It’s hard to break away from using the same group of people. We’ve got some suggestions to help you to widen your search.
  • Professor isn’t always best – inviting postdocs to give higher level talks can increase the diversity of experiences in the room, and helps to develop the careers of people who are at a key transition point
  • Sponsor women – suggest women in your own networks them for roles and encourage them to apply for opportunities
  • If someone turns down an invitation, ask them to provide suggestions of alternative speakers
  • Don't hold events during half-term or school holidays
  • Mention our Grants for Carers in the invitation!
  • Ensure language is free from words that might imply discriminatory views, e.g. ‘the committee member’ rather than ‘he’ and ‘chair’ instead of ‘chairman’.
  • Refer to our guides to inclusive events and committees as a periodic check to make sure you are
For more information check out our diversity resources. For help with specific questions please contact and we’d be delighted to talk to you!
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Aug 1, 2019 1:00 PM Europe/London

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