Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. We are proud to be a Department that puts equality and diversity at the heart of everything we do, and as an Athena SWAN Silver Award holder we continue to develop and drive initiatives that support gender equality. 

We are committed to achieving and upholding the Athena SWAN Charter Principles:

  1. Embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/institute/department accountable.
  2. Undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes to direct our priorities and interventions for gender equality, and evaluating our progress to inform our continuous development.
  3. Ensuring that gender equality work is distributed appropriately, is recognised and properly rewarded.
  4. Addressing structural inequalities and social injustices that manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students.
  5. Tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments for people of all genders, including not tolerating gender-based violence, discrimination, bullying, harassment or exploitation.
  6. Understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities
  7. Fostering collective understanding that individuals have the right to determine their own gender identity, and tackling the specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people because of their identity
  8. Examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice and career opportunities of any identified under-valued and at-risk groups
  9. Mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks, and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’
  10. Mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.

Our Athena SWAN action plan

Key Priority 1: Gender balance

  • Improve inclusivity of recruitment process for all staff
  • Develop a webpage, linked to in job adverts, that details support and guidance available for applicants across all job families.
  • Address limited awareness of MSc/MRes and PhD programmes
  • Review student recruitment and participation data to refine and implement an improved departmental outreach strategy that aims to balance the involvement of minorities in education and research (including women, LGBTQIA+, cultural minorities, people of different religions, age, and disabilities)
  • Increase awareness of the teaching and learning career paths in academia

Key Priority 2: Career support

  • Increase awareness and actively promote mentoring opportunities for all staff
  • Review time spent on grades to identify gender gaps and support staff understanding of the promotions process
  • Increase career development opportunities for PSF and female L&T staff by supporting them to take secondments
  • Develop bespoke training and support for female (and other minoritised) postdocs

Key Priority 3: Culture

  • Improve participation in College and Department Culture surveys by offering protected time to complete survey questions.
  • Increase awareness and transparency of departmental reporting mechanisms (anonymous reporting tool, harassment support contacts, line manager)
  • Co-produce a formalised departmental EDI strategy and externally facing EDI strategy document for Computing.
  • Conduct an internal audit of administrative tasks on men and women and annually monitor and review staff workload
  • Increase awareness of flexible/hybrid working across all staff in Computing.
  • Implement new and improved EDI data collection methods (and analysis) to streamline data collection
  • Introduce compulsory EDI training for all students (including PhD)
  • Annually monitor and review recruitment and EDI training for all staff

Key Priority 4: Experiences

  • Source and improve awareness of financial support for underrepresented students (including women) to improve their university experience
  • Improve UG involvement in networking opportunities (particularly women)
  • Increase social interaction between staff by introducing regular interaction opportunities.