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Athena Swan

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) and extended to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students in 2015.

A Bronze Award indicates that we have achieved a ‘solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff’.

PAIS submitted its application in 2017. The work on the application was done by the self-assessment team which was representative of all grades of staff and students at the undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels. A huge amount of work was involved: gathering and analysing data, consultations with members of the department, writing the narrative about our commitment to gender equality and putting together a robust Action Plan that had the support of PAIS members at all levels.

As part of its Athena Swan commitments and the detailed Action Plan, we are working towards delivering some of the following key issues:

  1. Ensure that the PAIS community of students and staff are aware of PAIS’ gender equality commitments, values of respect and promotion of a diverse and safe environment for all to work in through our website, marketing materials and job advertisements
  2. Encourage undergraduate students from all backgrounds to consider postgraduate work and to improve PAIS’ completion, progression, attainment, employment gaps between different demographic groups
  3. Investigate maternity provision in different PhD scholarships and make case to funding bodies to improve where necessary.
  4. To work with University Gender Taskforce to promote more secure maternity pay for female colleagues on FTC and equal pay for childcare undertaken by male colleagues on Shared Parental Leave.

We will look to improve our Award to Silver based on meeting our Action Plan targets, and progressing the gender equality agenda in the Department.

The Equality and Diversity Committee is keen to hear from students and colleagues on issues of equality and how we might address these better within PAIS. If you have any comments or suggestions please get in touch with the Chair or any member of the E&D Committee.