The College of Human and Health Sciences celebrates achieving an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, reflecting its contribution to good employment practice for women working in science.

The College of Human and Health Sciences has started the new academic year celebrating the success of achieving an Athena SWAN bronze departmental award; the first College award in Swansea University.

Athena SWAN is a national charter which recognizes and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) in higher education and research.  The award is to be presented to representatives of the College at the Athena SWAN awards ceremony on the 7th November at Imperial College London.

In order to apply for the award the College had to establish a self assessment team, Chaired by Professor Joy Merrell, comprising of staff from across the academic grades and undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The application required the collation and analysis of quantitative data on staff and students with respect to, for example, the percentage of female staff at all academic grades and the percentage of female students on the wide range of courses provided by the College. In addition, a number of focus groups were conducted with students and staff to gain their views on the issues which impact on embedding gender equality in the College.

Following analysis and synthesis of this data a comprehensive three year action plan has been developed. Four working groups have been established to oversee and implement the action plan in the key areas of communications; career progression; organisation and culture; and data management.

Professor Merrell said:

“Central to the dissemination and implementation of the action plan and embedding the Athena SWAN principles in the College has been the establishment of Athena SWAN Champions. Fourteen academic and professional service staff  have completed a two-day training course to provide them with the necessary knowledge to advise their colleagues and students on a variety of issues including the flexible working policy, equality impact assessment of new policies and the new promotions process.

“The College has the highest percentage of female academics in the University, and is committed to reducing gender inequalities in the advancement of academic and professional careers. 

“Swansea University successfully renewed its bronze award last year, and now, due to the success of the College, can apply for a silver award. We’re extremely proud of the College’s achievement!” 

A number of Athena SWAN initiatives including a celebratory event will be held in the coming months.

 

Notes

Further information about Athena SWAN is accessible at: http://www.athenaswan.org.uk