Athena SWAN awards announced
Twenty-two new awards for employment practices that support female researcher careers
Twenty-two higher education institutions, medical schools and science, engineering and technology (SET) departments have been commended for their employment practices that specifically further and support the careers of women.
The Athena SWAN Charter awards, which have been running since 2006, recognise the commitment of institutions and SET departments to addressing gender inequalities, to tackling the unequal representation of women in science and to improving career progression for female academics. Seven further departments and higher education institutions successfully renewed their previous awards.
Sarah Dickinson oversees the Athena SWAN Charter and is based at main funders Equality Challenge Unit. Announcing the awards, she said:
'I am delighted to announce the successful award winners, and to celebrate their outstanding work and commitment to furthering the careers of female academics.
We continue to see departments from the full range of science, engineering and technology disciplines engaging with the agenda, including medical schools. We recently introduced the Bronze department award. This recognises departments who have identified problem areas and are beginning to implement strategies for change. Nine departments achieved this level in this awards round - it is great to see institutions working to make a real, measurable difference for their female team members.'
Professor Dame Julia Higgins, the Athena SWAN patron commented:
'I have been involved in the Athena SWAN Charter since its inception, and very much involved in the Athena project from which it sprang. The numbers of female academics have grown a lot since Athena was set up around a decade ago, but the numbers are still too small - up from 1-2% of professors to around 12% now. More importantly the senior women are much more visible, and vocal. However, good practice is still hugely variable across and also within universities and the way Athena SWAN allows departments to measure themselves against the best has turned out to be an inspired way of motivating communities.
The business case for obtaining Athena SWAN awards becomes clearer every year and the success of the scheme is evidenced by the growing numbers of Charter members. I am proud to be Athena SWAN patron and look forward to the continuing success of the scheme in supporting diversity in academia.'
The 22 institutions and departments bring the total of Athena SWAN award holders to 105. The awards will be presented at a reception at the University of Birmingham on 3 May 2012.
Only one Gold Award has ever been presented to date (the Department of Chemistry, University of York).
Winners April 2012
Bronze university award
Recognising that the university has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.
- Bangor University
- University of Birmingham
- Durham University
- University of Exeter
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Bronze university renewals
- Lancaster University
- University of Leicester
- University of Manchester
- University of Reading
Bronze department award
Recognising that in addition to institution-wide policies the department has identified particular challenges and is planning activities to address these in the future.
- Cardiff University, School of Chemistry
- University of Edinburgh, The Roslin Institute
- University of Leeds, School of Healthcare
- University of Leicester, Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
- Queen's University Belfast, School of Pharmacy
- University of Reading, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy
- University of Reading, School of Human and Environmental Science
- University of Warwick, Medical School
- University of York, Department of Computer Science
Silver university award
Silver university awards recognises a significant record of activity and achievement by the university in promoting gender equality and in addressing challenges across the different SET disciplines in the university.
- Queen's University Belfast
Silver department award
Silver department awards recognise that in addition to institution-wide policies the department has a significant record of activity and achievement and has identified particular challenges, has implemented activities and can demonstrate their impact so far.
- Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies
- University of Leeds, Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
- University of Nottingham, Faculty of Engineering
- University of Oxford, Department of Earth Sciences
- Queen's University Belfast, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Queen's University Belfast, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- University of York, Department of Physics
Silver department renewals
- Imperial College London, Department of Chemistry
- University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences
- University of York, Department of Psychology