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Home Article Universities recognised for advancing gender equality in the arts, humanities and social sciences

Universities recognised for advancing gender equality in the arts, humanities and social sciences

Published: 04/09/2014

ECU announces the results for the gender equality charter mark trial

GEM-results-imageFive universities and 17 individual departments have been recognised for their progress in advancing gender equality in arts, humanities and social science careers in higher education. All have achieved Bronze level in our trial gender equality charter mark – the first award scheme of its kind for these disciplines.

Based on the principles of ECU’s highly successful Athena SWAN Charter for women in science, the gender equality charter mark aims to address chronic gender imbalance and underrepresentation in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Bronze level is the first step in the process, showing a strong commitment to specific actions and building a culture that will improve the representation, progression and success of both staff and students.

While the charter has a particular focus on the underrepresentation of women in senior roles, it will also encourage progress on the underrepresentation of men in subjects such as teaching and social work and also seeks to address the unfair treatment often experienced by trans people.

David Ruebain, ECU’s chief executive said:

‘Today’s results offer an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and achievements of everyone involved in the charter mark trial, and to focus on the positive progress being made to addressing chronic gender inequalities in HE. Following the success of this trial round, we are delighted that we will now be able to fully develop a charter mark that supports equality in the arts, humanities and social sciences – disciplines that have not until this point received the same attention as science subjects.

We hope that the gender equality charter mark will have the same positive effect for the arts, humanities and social sciences as Athena SWAN has had on women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. I commend the work of all the participants so far, and look forward to seeing the impact of their actions as they move up to silver, and gold levels in the future.’

ECU are currently finalising the format of the future charter based on feedback from trial participants, with a view to aligning it more closely with the Athena SWAN charter. All institutions and arts, humanities and social science departments will be able to take part in the charter mark in 2015.

Gender equality charter mark results September 2014:

Bronze Institution

  • Aberystwyth University
  • SOAS, University of London
  • University of Chester
  • University of Essex
  • University of Winchester

Bronze department

  • Cardiff University – School of European Languages, Translation and Politics
  • Cardiff University – Cardiff Business School
  • Durham University – Department of Geography
  • Durham University – Anthropology Department
  • Keele University – School of Humanities
  • King’s College London – Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine
  • Queen Mary, University of London – School of Politics and International Relations
  • University College London – Department of Greek and Latin
  • University of Edinburgh – Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences
  • University of Edinburgh – School of Divinity
  • University of Exeter – Classics and Ancient History Department
  • University of Glasgow – College of Social Sciences, School of Law
  • University of Leicester – School of Museum Studies
  • University of Sheffield – Department of Archaeology
  • University of Sussex – The School of Law, Politics, and Sociology
  • University of Warwick – Warwick Business School
  • University of York – Department of Education


Office for Fair Access welcomes gender equality charter mark

Commenting on the first awards of the ECU’s gender equality charter mark, Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said:

‘I congratulate those universities and academic departments who have received the gender equality charter mark, and the ECU for their work in highlighting the progress that needs to be made in this important area.

‘A number of the access agreements I recently approved included measures to tackle the under-representation of women or men in particular subjects, and I am sure that initiatives such as the ECU’s gender equality charter mark will continue to help to highlight and address the gender inequalities in higher education.’