The Department of Applied Sciences (DAS) has become the first department at UWE Bristol to be awarded a prestigious Athena SWAN Silver Award for its outstanding commitment to gender equality.
The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework which is used to guide and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the charter is now being used to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
The Department’s Gender Equality Self-Assessment Team, led by Dr Clare Wilkinson, has been leading the way with its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion having received Bronze Awards in 2013 and 2016. The Silver application, submitted in April 2020, was able to evidence increased awareness of gender equality, increases in equality and diversity training, increased female applicants to academic posts, and improved leadership training, as well as a number of other impacts on staff and students.
Dr Clare Wilkinson, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Science Communication Unit, and Athena SWAN Lead for the Department, said: "We are delighted to achieve Silver Award status. As equality, diversity and inclusion continues to come to the fore, this award recognises important steps we have taken to address these challenges. Most importantly it has evidenced changes we have made which are seeking to positively impact on our staff and students professional and personal lives, in a year when those challenges are even more acute.”
Speaking about the award, Professor Paul Olomolaiye, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equality and Civic Engagement said: “UWE Bristol is immensely proud to achieve our first Athena Swan Silver Award in the Department of Applied Sciences. Our institution has been committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in all subject areas and have held institutional and departmental Athena Swan Bronze Awards since 2013. This achievement inspires us to remain relentless in creating a totally inclusive working and learning environment.”
UWE Bristol holds a Bronze Award at institution level, as well as Bronze Awards for the Departments of Nursing and Midwifery, Allied Health Professions, Engineering Design and Mathematics, Health and Social Sciences, and Architecture and the Built Environment.