Stirling Management School wins gender equality award

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SMS staff

The University of Stirling Management School is celebrating this week after achieving the Athena SWAN Bronze award for gender equality in higher education.

The award means the University now holds six Athena SWAN Bronze awards, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to equality and inclusion in its policies, practices, action plans and culture.

The Athena SWAN initiative is a national charter developed by the Equality Challenge Unit, which recognises and promotes good practice around gender equality. The charter is based on ten key principles which help foster positive, cultural change across the working environment and tackle inequalities.

Senior lecturer in Management, Work and Organisation, Dr Adelina Broadbridge, led the application, supported by a team of colleagues, including Dean of the Management School (SMS), Professor Kevin Grant.

Dr Adelina Broadbridge
Dr Adelina Broadbridge
Senior lecturer in Management, Work and Organisation
I’m so pleased and proud that we received this prestigious award. We worked hard for it, and it means that we can now envisage real change. It’s an opportunity to make sure that we have a diverse and inclusive Management School, from the point of view of students and staff.

Dr Broadbridge said: “I’m so pleased and proud that we received this prestigious award. We worked hard for it, and it means that we can now envisage real change. It’s an opportunity to make sure that we have a diverse and inclusive Management School, from the point of view of students and staff.

“A lot of Athena SWAN applicants are knocked back the first time, so the fact that we were accepted means they understood our commitment to gender equality and the progress we have achieved.”

Dean of SMS, Professor Kevin Grant, said: “This award is a great achievement for SMS and it further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.”

To be accepted, applicants must collect data and show evidence of a three-year trend towards gender equality in terms of student intake, staff and research, as well as action plans for further improvement.

SMS students

Stirling Management School students 

“We have gender equality in student numbers in Marketing and Retail and Management, Work and Organisation; not yet in Accounting and Finance or in Economics, but it’s improving,” said Dr Broadbridge.

“We are still facing challenges in regards to the number of women professors – however, we are putting in place action plans to tackle this: thinking about how we attract women at that level, identifying barriers that may prevent them applying, and advancing women already working within the School. For example, advertising flexible working and increasing transparency around promotional opportunities might help. The Dean is committed to advertising leadership admin posts, for example, that help advancement, and to making promotion a visible, formal process. We also have diversity and inclusion as a standing agenda item at divisional meetings and student staff feedback forums.”

Jill Stevenson, institutional Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “This is testament to the hard work and commitment that the team has invested in gender equality, and I am particularly pleased that this is the sixth award for the University of Stirling. I believe this demonstrates an ever-strengthening culture of equity, inclusion and an understanding of the importance and benefits of equality for all.” 

The Bronze award is a chance to take stock, Dr Broadbridge said, to be able to aim higher.

“It means we can implement plans over the next five years that would enable us to go for Athena SWAN Silver. At present, very few universities in the UK have Gold,” she added.

She said she would like to see the award itself expanded to consider broader issues around diversity, incorporating race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, and disability, as well as their intersectionality.

“The Management School has committed to this because we’re passionate about it,” she said. “We would like to be able to take into account other issues around diversity. We need to make sure we’re collecting the right data, and continue to conduct interviews with students and staff to find out what we can improve on.”

Dr Broadbridge has launched a call for more members of the team that will move forward with SMS’s diversion and inclusion plans. She said: “Since 2018, when we started work on the process, we have welcomed a lot of new people to the school, and so it is a good time to reflect on our membership of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team (EDIT). 

“We need membership from all divisions on the team (academic and admin staff) and from a diverse range of people.    

“EDIT meets on a bi-monthly basis and these will be virtual to begin with commencing in September. Would you like to join this vibrant team and help take SMS to a new level on EDI issues?  If so, please get in touch.”

To email Dr Broadbridge click here

 

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