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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


Gold application guidance

Guidance on how to apply for a Gold Athena SWAN award.

Gold university award

Prerequisites

The applicant institution must be an Athena SWAN Charter member that has signed up to the May 2015 Athena SWAN principles, and have no outstanding membership/subscription fees.

The institution must hold a valid Athena SWAN Silver award; this can be either a pre- or post-May 2015 award.

The institution must also hold department awards (see below):

  • At least one department must have a valid Gold award.
  • The majority of the institution’s academic departments must hold valid Silver awards.

What needs to be demonstrated

Gold institutions should be beacons of achievement in gender equality and should champion and promote good practice in the wider community.

A Gold institution award recognises a significant and sustained record of activity and achievement by the institution in addressing challenges across the full range of the institution and promoting gender equality within and beyond the institution.

Applications should demonstrate how Athena SWAN is completely embedded within the institution with strong leadership in promoting and championing the charter principles; including consideration of gender equality for professional and support staff and trans people.  This should be complemented by data demonstrating the impact of Athena SWAN activities. The institution should also demonstrate that they have taken an intersectional approach to analysing data and devising possible solutions to identified challenges.

Potential outcomes

  • Gold institution award
  • Silver institution award
  • Bronze institution award
  • No award

Gold department award

Prerequisites

The institution to which the applicant department belongs must hold a valid Athena SWAN Bronze, Silver or Gold award or ECU’s gender equality charter mark award (granted in October 2014). The institution must also have signed up to the May 2015 Athena SWAN principles, and have no outstanding membership/subscription fees. The applicant department must hold a Silver department award.

What needs to be demonstrated

A Gold department award recognises significant and sustained progression and achievement by the department in promoting gender equality and to address challenges particular to the discipline. A well-established record of activity and achievement in working towards gender equality should be complemented by data demonstrating continued impact. Gold departments should be beacons of achievement in gender equality and should champion and promote good practice to the wider community.

Potential outcomes

  • Gold department award
  • Silver department award
  • Bronze department award
  • No award

Gold research institute award

Prerequisites

The applicant institute must be an Athena SWAN Charter member that has signed up to the May 2015 Athena SWAN principles, and have no outstanding membership/subscription fees.

The institute must hold a valid Athena SWAN Silver award; this can be either an original pre-May 2015 award or expanded post-May 2015 award.

What needs to be demonstrated

Gold research institutes (RIs) should be beacons of achievement in gender equality and should champion and promote good practice in the wider community and discipline.

A Gold RI award recognises a significant and sustained record of activity and achievement by the institute in addressing challenges across the full range of the institution and promoting gender equality within and beyond the institute.

Applications should demonstrate how Athena SWAN is completely embedded within the institute with strong leadership in promoting and championing the charter principles; including consideration of gender equality for professional staff and technical support staff and trans people. This should be complemented by data demonstrating the impact of Athena SWAN activities. The institute should also demonstrate that they have taken an intersectional approach to analysing data and devising possible solutions to identified challenges.

Potential outcomes

  • Gold department award
  • Silver department award
  • Bronze department award
  • No award

Feedback

The awards panel provides constructive feedback on all submissions to provide encouragement and support. The feedback highlights effective practice the panel would like to commend as well as areas in which the panel considers that improvements can be made.

Renewals

Renewals for awards received under the May 2015 Athena SWAN Charter process are not yet available. Details will be provided in due course.

Key additional questions at Gold level

Department >

Beacon activity

  • Demonstrate how the department is a beacon of achievement, including how the department promotes good practice internally and externally to the wider community.
  • How do staff and people associated with the department champion and promote Athena SWAN activities and principles?
  • How does the department lead others in the institution toward embedding and promoting the Athena SWAN principles?
  • For beacon activities consider the impact of initiatives externally and how initiatives have been embedded.

Case studies

  • Provide three case studies. These must include a member of the self-assessment team and a member of professional or support staff.
  • The case studies should include both men and women.
University >

Gender profile of the leadership of the institution

  • Representation of men and women on the senior management team
  • Proportion of heads of school/faculty/department by gender
  • Proportion of heads of non-academic departments by gender
  • Representation of men and women on influential institutional committees

Beacon activity

  • Demonstrate how the institution is a beacon of achievement, including how the institution promotes good practice internally and externally to the wider community.
  • How do staff and people associated with the institution champion and promote Athena SWAN activities and principles?
  • For beacon activities consider the impact of initiatives externally and how initiatives have been embedded.

Outreach activities

  • Reflect on the evidence base for outreach and engagement activity and how outreach is evaluated.
  • Provide data on the staff involved by gender and grade and the participant uptake of these activities by school type and gender.

Diversity in curriculum and pedagogy

This section should illustrate the inclusivity of curriculum and pedagogy within the institution. The section should be informed by all relevant data sources including the results from the staff and student survey, and any other appropriate quantitative and qualitative sources. Full commentary should be included with the data, along with any relevant work already undertaken to address any issues identified, and actions planned.

For gender inequalities in the curriculum, consideration should be given to:

  • course content
  • sources used and cited in courses
  • outcomes of different assessment methods
  • how equality and diversity is considered in the development of new courses
  • how departments and faculties discuss inclusivity in the curriculum at their decision-making committees and are accountable for actions taken

For inclusivity in pedagogy, consideration should be given to:

  • staff training and development on inclusive pedagogical practice
  • staff confidence in embedding equality and diversity into their teaching practice
  • feedback from students
  • any audits of feedback delivered by course tutors to different groups of students
  • how departments and faculties discuss inclusivity in the curriculum at their decision-making committees and are accountable for actions taken

Institutional policies, practices and procedures

  • How have policies, practices and procedures been affected by the institutional and departmental Athena SWAN review process?

Gender profile of grievances/disciplinaries at institutional level.

  • This should include whether the grievance/disciplinary was gender-related and also whether there are trends in rates by gender.

Provide an honest assessment of how the institution monitors the consistency of HR policies about equality, dignity at work, bullying, harassment, grievance and disciplinary processes. Describe actions taken to address any identified differences between policy and practice. Comment on any issues that have been identified and has been or will be done to address them. Applicants will not be penalised for identifying issues, but should put in place actions to address them.

Note: If this question results in an answer that the institution does not wish to be made public, please remove the answer to this question before publishing the application publically. ECU does not publish applications.

Supporting statement

  • Why should this institution be conferred a gold Athena SWAN award?
  • This is an opportunity to provide a summary of how the university meets the criteria and represents an exemplar of gender equality in higher education.
Research Institutes >

Gender profile of grievances/disciplinaries at institute level

  • This should include whether the grievance/disciplinary was gender-related and also whether there are trends in rates by gender.

Comment on any issues that have been identified and what has been, or will be done, to address them. Applicants will not be penalised for identifying issues, but should put in place actions to address them.

Note: If this question results in an answer that the institution does not wish to be made public, please remove the answer to this question before publishing the application publically. ECU does not publish applications. In the version submitted to the panel, applicants should not include sensitive data, or identify individuals or specific cases.

Diversity in research

This section should illustrate how equality and diversity are considered when developing research, including how sex and/or gender analysis are incorporated into the design and delivery of research. The question can also be considered in the broadest sense- with reflection on any gendered impact of research or inclusive research practice. Full commentary should be included, along with any relevant work already undertaken to address any issues identified, and actions planned.

For sex and/or gender analysis, consideration could be given to:

  • the biological sex and/or the gender of subjects/users

For equality and diversity in the design and delivery of research, consideration could be given to:

  • the impact of research on gender equality (this could relate to female/male participation, representation etc.)
  • whether research will benefit men and women, or whether there are gaps in gender-specific knowledge that warrant particular attention
  • any requirements to consider the gendered impact of research, and the possible impact of bias when projects are designed/delivered
  • staff training and development on inclusive practice
  • staff confidence in embedding equality and diversity into their practice
  • how groups discuss inclusivity in research at their decision-making committees and are accountable for actions taken
  • consideration of unconscious bias and gender diversity in citation practice and sourcing of materials

The Gendered Innovations website includes some further information: http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/what-is-gendered-innovations.html

Beacon activity

  • Demonstrate how the institution is a beacon of achievement, including how the institute promotes good practice internally and externally to the wider community.
  • How do staff and people associated with the institute champion and promote Athena SWAN activities and principles?
  • For beacon activities consider the impact of initiatives externally and how initiatives have been embedded.

Case studies

  • Provide three case studies. These must include a member of the self-assessment team and a member of professional staff/technical support staff.
  • The case studies should include both men and women.

Supporting statement

  • Why should this institution be conferred a gold Athena SWAN award?
  • This is an opportunity to provide a summary of how the institute meets the criteria and represents an exemplar of gender equality in the research sector.

 

Frequently asked questions

Check our FAQs to see if your query has been answered.

ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter: guide to processes

Outlines the processes supporting ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter awards including the peer-review process, submission and appeals procedures.

Contact ECU’s equality charters team