Athena SWAN is a charter established in 2005 by the Equality Challenge Unit. It was originally set up to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). In 2015 the charter was expanded to include staff in academic, professional and support roles, students and broaden the substantive areas to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. The focus of the charter was also expanded to address gender equality more broadly, not just barriers that affect women. It also saw the inclusion of intersectionality – which recognises that people can face discrimination based on different elements of their identity not just their gender – e.g. age, disability, race, religion and sexuality.
The Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport currently holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award (2019-2022). As part of our application we have to demonstrate the work we are doing to improve gender equality and propose new actions to improve the experiences of staff and students in our Faculty. To date we have increased the proportion of women applying for and successfully achieving promotion and the number of female professors. One area of focus is student wellbeing and experience. As part of our new actions we are proposing to hold equality drop-in sessions for undergraduate and postgraduate students, are embedding equality as part of the student-staff consultative committees and will run a student survey in 2020. If you would like to know more about our Athena SWAN and wider equality work you can follow us on Twitter (@StirFHSSEqual) and can find contact details below.