Athena SWAN awards announced (November 2012 submissions)

Thu, 25/04/2013

A huge increase in submissions to the Athena SWAN Charter this year has resulted in a record 68 successful Athena SWAN awards being presented to individual departments and higher education institutions this week. The previous round saw 25 successful awards in August 2012.

The Athena SWAN Awards recognise success in developing employment practices to further and support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) departments in higher education. Awards were achieved by 35 different institutions across the sector, with four of the institutions achieving four awards each and one achieving five.

The Biological Sciences department at Queens University Belfast has been awarded the third ever Gold Award, and the first to go to a department other than chemistry. Gold awards recognise a significant and sustained progression and achievement in promoting gender equality and addressing the challenges particular to the specific STEMM discipline of the department.

Sarah Dickinson oversees the Athena SWAN Charter, run by Equality Challenge Unit. Commenting on the awards, she said:

Ninety-six applications were submitted to the Athena SWAN charter this year, which is a huge increase. In part this is due to Department of Health funding stipulations linking NIHR funding for medical schools to holding a Silver Athena SWAN award. Twenty-four percent of submissions were from medical and dental schools and departments, and 29% of awards were to these disciplines. Last year this figure was just 9%.

However, with the increase in applications across the board we’ve also seen a rise in unsuccessful submissions. The Charter exists to instigate real and continuing change for women, and also their male colleagues, working in STEMM – departments have to demonstrate not just a commitment to improving working practices but also measure the impact these changes are having, and tackle areas where progress hasn’t been as fast. For those seeking to renew their awards, it isn’t enough to simply show they are working at the same level as their original submission three years ago. It’s about striving for better and continuing to improve the reality of the working environment.’

The Athena SWAN Charter awards have been running since 2005, recognising the commitment of the higher education sector to address gender inequalities, tackle the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics. In total, 176 awards have now been achieved at bronze, silver and gold levels.

Winners April 2013

Bronze university award

Recognising that the university has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

=      Manchester Metropolitan University

=      The Open University

=      Oxford Brookes University

=      Queen Margaret University

=      University of Brighton

=      University of Glasgow

=      University of St Andrews

=      University of Surrey

=      University of Sussex

Bronze university renewals

=      The Institute of Cancer Research

=      Newcastle University

=      Swansea University

=      University College London

=      University of Cambridge

=      University of Sheffield

=      University of Edinburgh

=      University of Leeds

=      University of Southampton

Bronze department award

Recognising that in addition to institution-wide policies the department has identified particular challenges and is planning activities to address these in the future.

=      Aston University – School of Life and Health Sciences

=      Cardiff University – School of Biosciences

=      Cardiff University – School of Dentistry

=      Cardiff University – School of Engineering

=      Cardiff University – School of Medicine

=      Imperial College London – Department of Mathematics

=      Imperial College London – Department of Medicine

=      London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health

=      London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – Faculty of Public Health and Policy

=      Queen Mary, University of London – School of Engineering and Materials Science

=      Royal Holloway, University of London – Department of Earth Sciences

=      Sheffield Hallam University – Department of Architecture and Planning

=      Sheffield Hallam University – Department of Engineering and Mathematics

=      University College London – Department of Computer Science

=      University College London – Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering

=      University of Birmingham – College of Medical and Dental Sciences

=      University of Cambridge – Department of Chemistry

=      University of Cambridge – Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

=      University of Edinburgh – The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

=      University of Leicester – Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

=      University of Leicester – Department of Physics and Astronomy

=      University of Leicester – School of Psychology

=      University of Oxford – Department of Biochemistry

=      University of Oxford – Department of Engineering Science

=      University of Oxford – Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

=      University of Oxford – Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

=      Plymouth University – School of Psychology

=      University of Sheffield – School of Health and Related Research

=      University of Southampton – Chemistry

=      University of Southampton – Electronics and Computer Science

=      University of Southampton – Faculty of Medicine

=      University of Southampton – Ocean and Earth Science

=      University of Warwick – School of Engineering

=      University of Warwick – School of Life Sciences

Silver department award

Silver department awards recognise that in addition to institution-wide policies the department has a significant record of activity and achievement and has identified particular challenges, has implemented activities and can demonstrate their impact so far.

=      Loughborough University – School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

=      Newcastle University – Institute of Cellular Medicine

=      Queen's University Belfast – School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

=      Royal Holloway, University of London – Department of Psychology

=      University of Bristol – School of Oral and Dental Sciences

=      University of Bristol – School of Social and Community Medicine

=      University of Edinburgh – School of Biological Sciences

=      University of Glasgow – School of Physics and Astronomy

=      University of Sheffield – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

=      University of Warwick – Warwick Medical School

Silver department renewals

=      University College London – MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

=      University of Reading – School of Construction Management and Engineering

=      University of Warwick – Department of Chemistry

Silver university award

A Silver university award recognises a significant record of activity and achievement by the

university in promoting gender equality and in addressing challenges across their STEMM departments.

=      Imperial College London

=      University of Nottingham

Gold department award

=       Queen's University Belfast – School of Biological Sciences