Athena Swan is a gender advancement accreditation scheme which supports good employment practices for women in higher education. It offers a valuable framework for introducing cultural changes that create a better working environment for both men and women.
The University has held an institutional Athena Swan Bronze Award since 2006, and. in February 2023, for the first time, the University was awarded an institutional Silver award, acknowledging the progress that has been made in addressing a number of gender gaps across the University over the last five years. The award includes new action plan for the period of 2023–2028 and many of the actions will contribute directly to closing the gender pay gap. In addition to ongoing work to increase the proportion of women in senior roles and ensure support for staff with caring responsibilities, the 2022–27 action plan will include objectives to understand and address occupational segregation and the over-representation of women in more junior grades. The institutional renewal process reiterates the University’s commitment to gender equality and involves widespread consultation to agree an action plan.
In addition, 42 (of 49) departments hold awards, 21 at Silver and 21 at Bronze; each has an accompanying action plan. In 2022, the Medical Sciences Division became the University’s first all-Silver division with 16 departments holding a Silver Athena Swan award.
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