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A diverse and respectful place in which to work and study is fundamental to everything we do. A diversity of backgrounds and experiences means diversity of perspectives and insight, both of which we harness in our inter-disciplinary School that addresses global sustainability challenges. We have developed a shared vision of how we want our workplace to be – captured in a document called Our Principles – which shapes the way we support each other as we strive for professional excellence.

Jon ShawJon Shaw
Head of School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Athena Swan Charter

Athena Swan is a national Charter designed to advance gender equality in higher education. The Charter is necessary in order to tackle a worrying trend whereby women continue to be underrepresented at senior levels in academia. In April 2016, the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science received an Athena Swan Bronze departmental Award; this recognises that the School has undertaken a thorough review of gender disparities among the student and staff community together with a plan for advancing greater equality. 
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. The work of the SoGEES self-assessment team seeks to promote good practice to the benefit all staff and students. 
Athena Swan Gender Charter Bronze Award

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The committee is made up of academic, technical, research, professional services staff and student representatives. We support the embedding of equality and diversity across the School’s functions and strategies, develop school-led initiatives and work towards equality charter submissions such as Athena Swan. We are committed to promoting EDI principles, ensuing an inclusive learning environment, and preventing discrimination and harassment within the School.
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Girls into Geoscience VC award for EDI

Girls into Geoscience won the 2023 EDI VC award which recognises a team that has delivered a measurable beneficial impact towards Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University. Girls into Geoscience is a pioneering initiative which aims to inspire girls to consider a career in the sciences. A comment by a teacher to a potential female geology student, “Geology is not for Girls” sparked co-founders of Girls into Geoscience, Dr Jodie Fisher and Dr Sarah Boulton, to take radical action to improve the number of female applicants for Earth Science programmes as well as seeking to widen aspirations and opportunities for girls to engage with geoscience with female experts modelling the way. Since being launched in 2014 over 600 female school students have taken part in the two-day Girls into Geoscience residential event and the initiative has been awarded the Geological Society’s R H Worth Award presented in recognition of achievements in outreach, engagement and education. The team continue to inspire and model best practice for widening participation in the Sciences and have supported the development of a sister initiative Girls into Chemistry.