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Athena SWAN Charter: what it is and how it helps promote gender equality.

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Presentation on theme: "Athena SWAN Charter: what it is and how it helps promote gender equality."— Presentation transcript:

1 Athena SWAN Charter: what it is and how it helps promote gender equality

2 What is the Athena SWAN Charter? A scheme to recognise excellence in science, engineering and technology employment for women in higher education and research institutes

3 Why it matters The advancement of science, engineering and technology is fundamental to quality of life across the globe It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area Science, engineering and technology cannot reach their full potential unless they can benefit from all the talents

4 The Tipping Point Biosciences – 2015 Chemistry – 2038 Physics – 2102 Mathematics

5 Charter Principles 1.To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation 2.To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation 3.The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine 4.The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address 5.The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises 6.There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation

6 What does SWAN membership involve? Engagement, involvement and commitment of science community at all levels Demonstrable activity linked to clear thinking, based on facts and figures, producing measurable change Not a competition, but the shared development and identification of good practice that works

7 How does it work? 1.Letter of commitment from senior member of university 2.Enter for an institutional Bronze award within 2 years 3.Enter for Silver and Gold awards 4.Thematic events and opportunities for sharing good practice and networking

8 Key features No fee but the investment of time Encompasses universities and departments Not ticking the boxes but thinking and opening up discussion Demonstrable and progressive commitment and achievement

9 Which universities are members? Aston University University of Bath University of Bedfordshire University of Bristol Brunel University University of Cambridge Cardiff University University of Central Lancashire De Montfort University University of Edinburgh Edinburgh Napier University Heriot-Watt University Imperial College London The Institute for Cancer Research Keele University King's College London University of Lancaster University of Leeds University of Leicester University of Lincoln University of Liverpool London Southbank University Loughborough University Manchester Metropolitan University University of Manchester Newcastle University University of Nottingham University of Oxford Oxford Brookes University University of Plymouth Queen Mary, University of London Queen's University Belfast University of Reading Royal Holloway College Sheffield Hallam University University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Strathclyde University of Sunderland Swansea University University College London University of Warwick University of Westminster University of York

10 Awards Bronze (universities) Silver (departments and universities) Gold (departments and universities)

11 Preparing an Award Application Previous examples Collect information Consult widely Attend a workshop Self assessment team

12 Self Assessment Team Men and women Personal experience of work/life balance/career breaks/flexible working Dual career family Recent experience of promotion/recruitment procedures Different stages of career ladder and all levels Equal opportunities experience Senior managers

13 Judging process Written submissions read by a panel of experts Judges meet in June and July to discuss merits of award submissions and make decisions about awards Detailed, constructive feedback given to all members who have submitted for an award, including those who have failed to meet the level required

14 What do the awards look for? Collection and analysis of gender data (including gender in SET) Positive action to recruit and retain women in SET and promote them to the most senior levels Supportive organisational culture Systematic consideration of gender issues in policy and procedure Representation of women on influential committees Initiatives to support work-life balance

15 Who has won awards? Gold University of York, Department of Chemistry Silver University of Bristol, Department of Biochemistry University of Bristol, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology University of Edinburgh, Department of Chemistry Imperial College, London, Department of Chemical Engineering Imperial College, London, Department of Chemistry Imperial College, London, National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College, London, Department of Physics Keele University, School of Life Sciences Keele University, School of Physical and Geographical Sciences University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences University of Nottingham, School of Pharmacy University of Nottingham, School of Psychology University of Nottingham, Department of Mechanicals, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering University of Plymouth, Faculty of Technology Queen’s University Belfast Queen’s University Belfast, School of Biological Sciences University of Reading, School of Construction Management and Engineering University College, London, Department of Chemical Engineering University College, London, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering University College London, Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology University College, London, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences University of York, Department of Biology University of York, Department of Psychology

16 Who has won awards? Bronze University of Bath University of Bedfordshire University of Bristol University of Cambridge Cardiff University University of Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University Imperial College, London Institute of Cancer Research Keele University King's College London Lancaster University University of Leeds University of Leicester Loughborough University University of Manchester Newcastle University University of Nottingham University of Oxford University of Plymouth Queen Mary, University of London University of Reading University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Sunderland Swansea University University College, London University of York

17 Why universities want to join Employer of choice Demonstrates commitment to gender equality Enhances organisation’s reputation Publicises and shares good practice Brings together existing initiatives and stimulates change Individual, expert feedback on progress Networks of contacts Benchmarking against other universities Achievements profiled on Athena SWAN website

18 University of York – Gold award for Chemistry Department Achievements Higher percentage of female academics than national average for chemistry Significant increase in number of female senior lecturers and professors Appointment of Graduate and Postdoctoral Training Officer Job adverts always emphasise a family friendly policy

19 University of York – Gold award for Chemistry Department Changing the culture Female membership on all key committees Department eschews traditional ‘competitive culture’ and values quality of research over quantity Seminars to promote non-standard academic career pathways in seminars Celebrate prominent women scientists from the department Invite female chemists as external speakers Encourage female staff to contribute to departmental and university publications

20 Next steps

21 Publications Annual Reports Good practice factsheets Awards case studies

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23 Thank you


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