The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences is applying for a Departmental Silver Athena SWAN Award. This follows BU being successfully awarded a Bronze Award in 2015. The Athena SWAN scheme was launched to tackle a lack of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) departments. In May 2015, the Equality Challenge Unit Athena SWAN Charter expanded to cover women (and men where appropriate) in arts, humanities, social science, business and law and to recognise equality among professional and support staff, trans staff and students, in relation to their:
- progression of students into academia
- journey through career milestones
- working environment for all staff.
The Athena SWAN principles mirror the values of our faculty and organisation. The use of Athena SWAN has helped us review the faculty and work toward improvements. For example, many staff completed our internal questionnaire and we are using the information gained to make changes.
The advantages of becoming an Athena SWAN silver department are:
- Membership of Athena SWAN has a proven impact as a catalyst for change
- Organisational and cultural transformation makes a real difference for women and enables all staff to achieve their potential
- The framework helps identify areas for positive action, and recognise and share good practice
- Being part of an internationally recognised gender equality initiative helps institutions meet equality legislation requirements and the requirements and expectations of some funders and research councils, as well as aligning with policy priorities.