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Institute retains Athena SWAN award for gender equality

Telescope and the night sky

The University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) has successfully retained its Athena SWAN Bronze Award to recognise its commitment to gender equality.

The Athena SWAN Charter was originally established 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.

ICG successfully renewed its bronze award under the Athena SWAN Extended Principles, which were introduced in 2015 to recognise work to address gender equality more broadly across academic, professional and support services.

The result is a real achievement for the institute and reflects good practice across the department such as arranging departmental meetings within limited hours to maximise the opportunity for those with caring duties to attend, and ensuring that all research staff have an academic mentor to support their career progression.

Sherria Hoskins, University Executive Board (UEB) Equality and Diversity Champion, said: “I’m very pleased that the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation has retained its Bronze Award.  This demonstrates the hard work and dedication of our staff to create a culture where equality and inclusiveness are a part of our everyday working lives.”

Other departments and schools that hold Athena SWAN bronze awards:

  • School of Biological Sciences
  • School of Creative Technologies
  • School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • Dental Academy
  • School of Mathematics and Physics
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • School of Computing
  • School of Architecture
  • Department of Psychology
  • School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

At an institutional level, the University retained its Athena SWAN bronze award in November 2017.  

A comprehensive action plan has been developed in our ambition to achieve a silver award in 2021, which includes ensuring our recruitment policies and processes support the achievement of gender equality. Examples include unconscious bias training rolled out across the University, criteria around salary on appointment reviewed and monitored, review of academic promotions process and outcomes and ensuring that interview and promotion panels are gender balanced wherever possible.

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