Department for Health: Equality & Diversity

Documenting our journey towards equal opportunities

New Athena SWAN charter

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With the release of the new Athena SWAN charter and application guidelines, we have adjusted our processes to accommodate the changes. Health will be the first department in the university to apply under the new framework. Outlined below are the key changes and the charter outlines the key principles that will shape our action plan. The DSAT team are in the process of reviewing all the staff and student survey feedback and we will aim to circulate our draft report in Jun for comment. Academic and professional staff please save the date 20th July 2pm (CB 4.1) for an informal afternoon tea discussion with DSAT members and James about the draft – all input is welcome. Meetings will also be held separately with undergraduate and post-graduate students to discuss feedback.

If you are looking for a little career inspiration or update to date gender figures on research funding etc, have a look at the Dutch website Athena’s Angels. They certainly have a different gendered image of science.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded beyond STEMM subject areas to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL). This change has broadened the focus on gender equality and importantly the charter now includes professional staff, and transgender staff and students.

'The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.

1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:

the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)
4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.’

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