Athena Swan Award

The School of Biochemistry was awarded a Gold Athena Swan Award in 2022. The Athena Swan Charter recognises advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. 

Advance HE’s Athena Swan Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

"Being awarded the Gold Athena SWAN Award is really important to the School of Biochemistry as we take the culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion very seriously. The preparation of this award was a true team effort drawing together the whole School with representation from students, academics and professional and technical staff.

We used the application to take a close look at the culture in the School, celebrating what we do well and identifying ways in which we can further improve. For us, the Gold award is a starting point and brings with it a new set of goals and aspirations for the School to build on its success.

We have come to understand that creating a positive work environment sits at the centre of our success, and I look forward to continuing the work of the Athena Swan legacy over the coming years."

Nigel Savery, Head of School of Biochemistry

The Athena Swan Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena Swan, we are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.

1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:

  • the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
  • the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)

4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

The Athena Swan Award logo
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