About Athena SWAN
The Charter was established in 2005 as an initiative of the UK Equality Challenge Unit to encourage commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in Higher Education and research.
In 2015 this Charter was expanded in three ways to include:
- work undertaken in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
- academics, researchers, professional services staff and postgraduate students
- work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, whether for women, men, trans, non-binary or any other gender identification.
2014 Bronze Award for ESALA
We celebrated with colleagues when ESALA, our school of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, successfully submitted under the original STEMM charter and were awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2014. The submission brought together a team of colleagues from across ESALA, and was jointly led by Fiona McLachlan and Remo Pedreschi.
2017 Bronze Award for ECA
With the Charter expansion to cover STEMM and AHSSBL areas the whole of ECA was now eligible to submit for a school-wide award. As this coincided with the timescale for ESALA to re-apply to refresh their previous Bronze Award, we took the opportunity to build on their experience and submit as a whole school. Again, a team of staff from across ECA and some excellent postgraduate student representation was led by joint convenors: Susannah Thompson from the School of Art, and Remo Pedreschi providing continuity with ESALA’s experience and development since 2014.
We were delighted to hear at the end of April 2017 that we had been successful in being awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award under this new expanded charter, and collected our award in person in July 2017. At the ceremony ECU identified and shared examples of good practice from each submission, and we were very pleased that our consultations with trans students and staff were highlighted.
Building on our Action Plan ECA has now appointed our first ECA Equalities Directors, a role being undertaken as a role-share by Deborah Jackson in our School of Art and Emma Gieben-Gamal in our School of Design. Deborah and Emma are establishing our Equalities Committee to carry forward our plans and goals in relation to supporting equality and diversity across all characteristics, using implementation of our Athena Swan Action Plan to guide our gender equalities work over the next four years.