Three Schools at the University of Plymouth have been collectively recognised for their gender equality work – receiving an Athena SWAN Silver Award.
Peninsula Dental School, Peninsula Medical School and the School of Biomedical Sciences were awarded the mark by Advance HE.
The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Originally launched in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM), the Charter is now being used worldwide to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
Awards can be gold, silver or bronze – and this is the first silver award retained at the University.
Highlights of the Schools’ application included putting in place an equality pledges scheme – encouraging every member of staff to make a simple, one-line action committing to equality in their day-to-day activity – which is now being rolled out to students and more widely across the University.
The application also spoke about prioritising work (both leading up to the application and in the future action plan) to help professional services staff and early career researchers to develop their careers.
Dr Helen Watson, Associate Professor in Bioscience Education and Chair of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, said:
"We are so thrilled to have been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award. It’s the accumulation of small actions over time, such as our equality pledges, that have really helped to change our culture and make a difference. I’m very grateful to everyone involved across all three Schools in putting together the collective submission. There’s a lot of data, analysis and action planning needed to underpin everything, and it was a huge team effort."