Welcoming all microbiologists, regardless of background

31 March 2020

Each year, the Society surveys everyone participating in its activities, to understand how we welcome the entire microbiology community. Over the years, your responses, showing the make up of the Society, have prompted us to bring in guidance and activities to help us to encourage all microbiologists, regardless of their background, to feel welcome to participate in Society activities.

Since our first Equality and Diversity working group was established in 2013, we have introduced several initiatives to improve gender balance at the Society This has included providing guidance for conference organisers to ensure that at least 33% of invited speakers are women. In 2019, 48% of invited speakers across our conference and events programme were women. Since 2014 we have also provided grants to support caring costs for delegates attending Society conferences, and we continue to offer a free creche to delegates and exhibitors attending our Annual Conference. More recently, we have introduced a Shadowing Scheme to help members experience the inner workings of the Society before running for election, demystifying the process; and have reviewed our processes for our Prize Lecture nomination process to encourage applications from the wider membership and to encourage better diversity of candidates. We want to continue our efforts to welcome the entire microbiology community and for this we need your help.

As the survey is completely anonymous, we rely on members and delegates to complete it each year, this data informs what we can do to include everyone in our work, and we rely on your responses to get the strongest data possible. Over the course of this year you will see calls to complete a survey to tell us about yourself. We encourage you to participate, so that we can make sure we welcome all microbiologists, regardless of background.

To find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at the Society, please see our website.