We are pleased to announce that we have once again received the Bronze Athena Swan award (now held since 2016) in recognition of our commitment to advancing women’s careers in Earth Sciences in higher education and research.
The Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN Charter acknowledges the efforts of organisations to ensure a positive environment for women working in science; that they are represented at all levels, their contribution, skills and experience are recognised, and that they are retained and promoted appropriately.
The Athena Swan application process involves a critical self-assessment, highlighting both positive and negative issues. The negative issues have been addressed in an action plan that you can read here and with the support of all members of the department we will strive to make further improvements going forwards.
Tarje Nissen-Meyer (chair of our self-assessment team) reflects on the award:
‘‘Academia has long failed to provide equal access to opportunities for all parts of society. In the wake of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, the gender pay gap, and the unequal experiences throughout the pandemic, this has become even clearer in recent years. It is vital for a vibrant and high-quality research and teaching environment to embrace diversity across all dimensions, to build inclusive cultures and facilitate discourse across any factions.
Gender equality is a core pillar in our efforts towards these goals, and the Bronze Award by Athena SWAN suggests that we are on the right path: we have gender parity amongst undergraduate cohorts, almost parity amongst postgraduates, and a significant increase of female faculty in recent years. This recognition is however only a snapshot along a path we need to continue decidedly, and I believe we have built an engaged and diverse ecosystem in our department to pursue this. This is only possible due to the pro-active involvement of many people across the department, particularly those amongst marginalised groups and students. The award is testament to those who selflessly engage with these crucial matters which penetrate the wellbeing of any community.’’