Athena SWAN and the Institute of Aquaculture

The Athena SWAN initiative is a national charter developed by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 (now part of Advance HE). Athena SWAN recognises and promotes good practice in gender equality. The charter is based on ten key principles which help foster positive, cultural change across the working environment and tackle inequalities.

The Institute of Aquaculture has been awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN award which is valid until 2025.

Athena SWAN bronze logo

Professor Maggie Cusack, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “I am delighted that the Institute of Aquaculture has received an Athena SWAN Bronze award. This award is testament to the hard work of staff and students in the Institute striving to achieve equity, diversion and inclusion."

The Institute of Aquaculture remain ambitious in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) actions to ensure that we maintain a welcoming working environment accessible to all. This is reflected in our award of an Athena Swan Bronze Award.

The Institute of Aquaculture Athena SWAN commitment

The Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) was founded in 1971 and remains the only academic centre dedicated to the study of aquaculture in the UK. Our activities centre on research-led teaching as well as fundamental and applied research in all areas related to aquaculture and aquatic food security, globally. The recruitment of our new Head of Department, Professor Selina Stead, combined with the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal £17M financial investment means that we expect to see significant development over the next few years within the Institute. As such it is critical that we continue to embrace good practise in our EDI actions. The IoA has begun structural changes to begin to address some of our EDI challenges as follows:

  1. The new IoA Executive Board has increased its number of women from one to three, ensuring that women participate in decision-making as well as providing more female senior management role models in the IoA.
  2. The IoA Executive Board has a champion for the implementation of our EDI Strategy.
  3. Female members of staff, as role models, have been involved in the open days to help attract female students applying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This is to ensure that we can increase the number of female students throughout the pipeline from undergraduate to academic careers.
  4. Our Head of Department shares her experiences of the challenges and solutions of a senior female aquaculture scientist. As an invited speaker at Aquaculture Europe in Berlin, October 2019, positive feedback was received on how important it is to promote women in this sector which has traditionally had underrepresentation of women.

Action plan

Our Action Plan for the Athena Swan Bronze Award is designed to promote best practice and help support talent management in all our staff and students to realize their full potential. The Action Plan activities are fully supported by all including those with management responsibilities within the IoA, thus providing the confidence that we can deliver the change in culture required. The actions accurately reflect the needs for the IoA to improve our gender equality in a fair and transparent manner as part of a broader EDI Strategy.

What Athena Swan means to our staff

Hear from Institute of Aquaculture staff talking about Athena SWAN and why it's important to them.

Further information

If you would like to know more about the Institute of Aquaculture Athena SWAN Award you can contact Dr Margaret Crumlish Chair of our IoA self-assessment team (SAT) or Professor Brett Glencross SAT member and Strategic Lead for EDI.

Find out more about ATHENA Swan and the awards held by the University of Stirling.