Athena SWAN is a national Charter designed to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). The Charter is necessary in order to tackle a worrying trend whereby women are underrepresented at senior levels. Sometimes referred to as the ‘leaky pipeline’ this trend is longstanding and ubiquitous across the higher education sector, as well as other industries.
Positive action is therefore required in order to move towards greater gender equality within the STEMM subjects. In recognition of their work to this end, universities and their constituent departments can apply for three levels of award: bronze, silver or gold. In April 2017, the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (SoGEES) received an Athena SWAN Bronze deparmtental Award in recognition of our work to promote gender equality in the School.
Athena SWAN Bronze Award holders need to have demonstrated that they have undertaken a comprehensive ‘self-assessment’ process. This involves a extensive data analysis and department-wide consultation in order to review every stage of the academic career pathway, from student recruitment through to academic promotions. As part of this process, the SoGEES self-assessment team continues to review a range of specific issues, such as: the culture of the School, practical support for career breaks, flexible working policy and support for early career academics – to name only a few. The work of the SoGEES self-assessment team seeks to promote good practice to the benefit all staff and students and, in so doing, attenuate the barriers that adversely affect women more than men.
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
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