The University of Stirling's School of Health Sciences, and Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences, have received Athena SWAN Bronze awards.
Athena SWAN is the national benchmark from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) recognising commitment to advancing gender equality within Higher Education. These departmental awards add to Stirling’s institutional Bronze.
In Biological and Environmental Sciences, the number of seminars delivered by visiting female academics has risen five-fold in five years, whilst the School of Health Sciences has tailored its assessment schedule to consider students' caregiving and clinical responsibilities.
The University introduced the OneStirling initiative in 2014/5, which outlines its commitment to equality and diversity across all activities.
Professor Carron Shankland, Chair of the University of Stirling Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Panel, said: "Congratulations to Biological and Environmental Sciences and Health Sciences on receiving the University’s first departmental awards.
"Athena SWAN recognition underlines our commitment as part of the OneStirling initiative to ensuring equality of opportunity for students and staff. We are working hard towards our long-term goal of attaining the institutional Silver award."
The University's Institute of Aquaculture and Divisions of Computing Science and Mathematics, and Psychology are working towards departmental accreditation applications. And with the expansion of the scheme by ECU to subjects beyond STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), Stirling's Schools of Arts and Humanities, and Applied Social Science are also preparing applications.
Sarah Dickinson, Head of Equality Charters at the Equality Challenge Unit, said: "I'd like to personally congratulate the University of Stirling's School of Health Sciences and Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences on achieving the Athena SWAN Bronze award.
"Participating in the Athena SWAN charter is a substantial undertaking that requires time, thought and effort and achieving these awards demonstrates a commitment to advancing gender equality and creating a truly inclusive environment to both work and learn in."
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- Background information
Athena SWAN is a national charter developed by the Equality Challenge Unit. From recognising and promoting good practice in advancing women's careers in STEMM academia (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), it expanded in May 2015 to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. Stirling has been part of the charter since 2011 and it was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze award in 2013. This followed rigorous examination of equality and diversity information relating to its academic activities, and the creation of a robust action plan with clear accountability to promote gender equality. Several academic departments, including Psychology, are currently pursuing Athena SWAN awards.
The University of Stirling and the University of Stirling Students’ Union believes in equality for all. No one should be denied opportunities because of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. The OneStirling initiative, started in 2014/5, outlines the University’s commitment to equality and diversity in every area of its activity, and its aim is to ensure that students and staff are treated fairly at all times.