Swansea University becomes first Welsh institution to achieve Silver Athena SWAN Charter Award

Swansea University has been formally recognised as the first Welsh University to achieve a Silver Athena SWAN Charter award at University level for its commitment to promoting gender equality in the latest review round by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).

Athena SWAN Silver 2017Swansea University is the only University or HEI to receive the silver institutional award in this latest round.

ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter is a highly successful national programme, which has grown from ten founding university members in 2005 to 146 UK university and research institute members, recognising institutions’ and departments’ commitment to tackling gender inequality in higher education and research. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The University first achieved a bronze institutional award in 2009 and successfully renewed this award in 2013. This silver institutional award recognises a significant record of achievement, activity and impact, and adds to the collection of existing bronze awards across every STEM subject and silver awards for the Medical School and the College of Human and Health Sciences.

Of the 143 HEI’S that are charter members, Swansea is now sixteenth to receive the silver award.  Other universities that hold a silver institutional award are: Imperial; Newcastle; Queen Mary London; Queens Belfast; UCL; Cambridge; Edinburgh; Liverpool; Nottingham; Sheffield; Southampton and Warwick. Three Institutes also hold the award: Babraham; Cancer Research and John Innes Centre.

Professor Hillary Lappin-Scott, senior pro-vice-chancellor and Athena SWAN Champion, said: “This is fantastic news! We have worked extremely hard to greatly increase diversity and inclusivity at every level. Our efforts moving forward will be directed towards ensuring continued progress. My thanks go to Professor Joy Merrell – who led on the University application, the University Self-Assessment Team and all of our staff, as it is their continued hard work that has ensured our improvement, as a result of our “utilising all our talent” initiatives”.

Raymond Ciborowski, chair of the University Equality Committee, said: “I am delighted that the University has gained national recognition for the advancement of gender equality.  We celebrate the achievements already made and will continue our efforts to pursue fairness with regards to areas such as gender pay, and diversity in senior appointments across the university.”

As we look forward to celebrating our centenary in 2020, this award demonstrates our ongoing ambition that Swansea University provides an inclusive and supportive environment that upholds our commitment to improving diversity and enables staff and students to fulfil their potential.”

The full list of winners is available on ECU’s website.