Recognising the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all
Athena SWAN Silver Award
Our department is committed to the advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion and the principles of Athena SWAN are embedded throughout the culture of the Department. Our Athena SWAN Silver award was renewed in October 2018, in recognition of the impact of our work driving forward the development and implementation of practical steps towards the advancement of equality.
The self-assessment process and feedback from departmental staff and students has led to many changes in the way the department operates, including:
- Restructuring department communications
- Establishing a Staff Development Fund to provide additional funding for staff training
- Improving department inductions
- Increasing support for researchers applying for funding
- Introducing Bullying and Harassment Advisors
- Broadening the focus of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work
- Running regular career development seminars for Professional and Support Staff and Early Career Researchers
Athena SWAN Charter
The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to the advancement of women's careers in science, engineering and technology subjects in academia. Athena SWAN awards celebrate good practice in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in higher education institutions and their individual departments.
Recently, the charter was expanded to cover women (and men where appropriate) in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students in relation to their representation, progression of students into academia, journey through career milestones, working environment for all staff. For further information about Athena SWAN, please visit the ECU website.
ProMoting Athena SWAN Activities in the department
Our department has a newly appointed Athena Swan lead, Laura Winchester, who works closely with the People and Culture committee to promote gender equality issues within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion frameworks.
We keep staff and students updated on the progress of the Athena SWAN process via presentations at the departmental away day and as part of the Research Meeting programme, by email and website updates, and at the weekly Head of Department briefing. We encourage staff and students to become involved in the process and welcome feedback and ideas at any time.
Hear more about Athena SWAN in the Department of Psychiatry in this short film:
The Athena SWAN initiative is supported by a number of working groups, recruited from the wider Department with a broad range of experiences. These groups divides the workload amongst members and engage the Department more fully in the Athena SWAN process. Each group assesses, consults, prioritises, plans and implements actions within their topic areas, identifies survey items and reviews responses. They meet bi-monthly.
The Family Friendly and Part-Time Working Group are focused on developing the support given to staff with family and other caring responsibilities and those working part-time. For more information about the activities of this working group, please click on the following link: Family and Part time working
The working group is chaired by Angharad de Cates and Laura Winchester. If you would be interested in joining this working group or finding out more about other initiatives in the department please contact Laura Winchester (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Athena SWAN supporting information
Our Department is the recipient of a Silver Athena Swan award. Details of this can be found below:
Download our Athena SWAN Silver Application here (October 2018)
Download our current Athena SWAN Action Plan here (as of June 2021)
Our staff surveys are conducted regularly to understand more about issues and key developmental areas for the department.
The results of our 2018 staff survey report can be found here.