University Athena SWAN activities and updates

Athena SWAN - Gender Equality

Posts By: Linda Newnes

University Self Assessment Team – our Membership

📥  University Athena SWAN

Welcome to my first ever blog!

The aim of my blogs is to provide updates on the University Vision for Athena SWAN and more importantly to gain insight, ideas and views from staff and students.

For those unfamiliar with Athena SWAN the underlying principles are ‘Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all’ (1)

To show that a Department or University embraces the principles of Athena SWAN, they can apply for a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. Our University holds a Bronze award and we will be applying for our renewal in April 2017.

Within the University, our Departments have been very successful with their SWAN applications, 44% of our Departments and School hold Bronze awards
• Architecture and Civil Engineering
• Biology and Biochemistry
• Chemistry
• Computer Science
• Health
• Mechanical Engineering
• Pharmacy and Pharmacology
• Physics

As you can probably work out from the list - Athena SWAN was targeted at STEMM Departments, with the focus being on women in STEMM. This year the Athena SWAN charter expanded to encompass gender equality across all Academic Departments at the University.

To learn from each other and to guide the over-arching University SWAN vision and action plan, each eligible Department had a representative on the University Self Assessment Team (USAT).  With SWAN including all Departments we have created a stream-lined USAT which is made up of volunteers from across the University, representing academics, students and administration.

The USAT now consists of Faculty Champions (plus an alternate), policy and planning, Director of Human Resources, postdoctoral researcher, students union postgraduate officer, leader of the women’s senior academic network, a Director of Administration, Equality and Diversity Manager, the University Secretary and administration support.  I was appointed Chair of the USAT in June this year.

To add to the excitement my first measurable output is to ensure we have a draft of our submission to renew the University’s Bronze award by the middle of December 2016. Not surprisingly this is happening slap bang in the middle of my heaviest teaching activity!

USAT Membership from June 2016

  • Marion Harney & Manuchehr Soleimani (Faculty of Engineering & Design)
  • Sophie Whiting & Rachel Arnold (Faculty of Humanities & Social Science)
  • Robert Jack & John Power (Faculty of Science)
  • Juani Swart & Jo Ward-Grosvold (School of Management)
  • Carole Mundell (Leader of womens senior academic network)
  • Iain Forster-Smith (Director of Administration)
  • Emma Williams (Post Doctoral Researcher Representative)
  • Richard Brooks (Director of Human Resources)
  • Mark Humphriss (University Secretary)
  • Adam Kearns (SU Postgraduate Officer)
  • Nicky Kemp (Director of Policy and Planning)
  • Katherine Slee (Policy & Planning Analyst)
  • Marlene Bertrand (Equality and Diversity Manager)
  • Caroline Harris (Secretary)
  • Linda Newnes (Chair)

My next blog will provide the timeline for our submission as well as ways in which staff and students can provide their thoughts and views on our plans and findings to date.

Linda

(1) http://www.ecu.ac.uk/equality-charters/athena-swan/