The Department of Surgery and Cancer has received its Athena SWAN Silver award after a long but successful application process.
The application involved staff from across the Department and was led by the People and Culture Committee, chaired by Professor Lesley Regan, and co-chaired by Professor Hector Keun and Mr Christopher Peters.
The Athena SWAN judging panel commended the Department’s work to address previously identified issues from the Bronze application, noting strong attention to academic career recruitment, induction, promotion and development.
The panel was particularly impressed by the Department's mentoring for PhD students, the showcasing of women on the departmental website, and its leadership of a faculty-wide workshop where female clinicians were invited back to the Faculty to share their success.
The judging panel also noted that good practice was identified on ‘flexible working and managing career breaks’ policies and provisions – highlighted by the Department's recent recognition as a Mumsnet’s Family Friendly employer.
New rules state that having the Athena SWAN Silver Award is now a prerequisite for NIHR funding. As such, in addition to the obvious importance of having a Department that prioritises diversity and inclusion within its workforce, this award will help secure vital funding that allows its staff to carry out world-leading research.
Speaking about the success, Head of Department, Professor George Hanna said: “Getting the Silver award is not a one-off achievement. It reflects years of dedication from many of you and I genuinely believe reflects a change in the culture in the Department for the better. We will also not allow this success to diminish our desire to keep improving and looking for new ways to make a positive difference to the everyday working life of our staff.”
People and Culture Committee members, Karen Pontifex and Debbie Oram, attended the Advance HE Equality Charters Awards Ceremony, held at the University of York on 24 June, where they accepted the Athena SWAN Silver trophy on behalf of the Department.
Moving towards a Gold Award, the panel recommended that the Department looks to build on its good practice by sharing its work across the rest of the Faculty, College, and even with external organisations.
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