Health care assistants

The University of Plymouth School of Health Professions has received a Bronze Athena SWAN award – highlighting its commitment to equality of opportunity.

Run by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), the Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

Now, the charter recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The award saw the school complete a wide-reaching application process, which included reviewing its culture to ensure it supports both men and women to achieve their career ambitions and consider how it supports all its students to best fulfil their potential.

It also had to draw up a comprehensive action plan demonstrating how it plans to build on current efforts for the duration of this award, which runs until April 2021.

Bernhard Haas, Head of the School of Health Professions, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for the school, and we are delighted to have received the award after everyone’s hard work. A number of health professions contain predominantly female students and academics, and this is a national trend. But we are committed to ensuring that men feel supported and encouraged to come to Plymouth to work and study with us. It’s great that the Athena SWAN charter recognises equality of opportunity for all, and we are looking forward to implementing our action plan step by step in the next few years.”

Professor Bridie Kent, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Plymouth, said:

“As well as ensuring men feel equally as empowered to study some of our subjects, we want to ensure women feel they are able to take on research careers. The Athena SWAN award demonstrates our efforts to empower men and women in the workplace, and the actions we are already taking are making a difference at all levels of the school.”

Athena Swan

We are a long-term supporter of the Athena Swan (Scientific Women's Academic Network) charter. This is a national scheme, focused on advancing equality for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education. 
Athena Swan was established in 2005 and is managed by the UK Equality Challenge Unit (now part of Advance HE) who recognise and celebrate good practices in higher education and research institutions advancing gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. 
women in stem
Student (courtesy of shutterstock)