Psychology earns University's first departmental Athena SWAN award

Psychology earns University's first departmental Athena SWAN award

The School of Psychology at the University of Aberdeen has been officially recognised for its efforts to advance gender equality - becoming the first of the University's Schools to hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

The charter aims specifically to address the lower proportion of women than men found in senior academic, professional, and support roles, and formally recognise departments and institutions that are taking action to identify and overcome barriers to career progression for both sexes.

An example of an initiative that helped the School meet the Bronze Award criteria was the establishment of a Family Conference Support Fund, which provides financial support for women and men with child caring responsibilities to attend conferences.

The School has also made a formal commitment to ensuring key meetings and events are held within core-business hours, and creating a culture that is inclusive and welcoming to all.

The School’s successful application was led by Dr Margaret Jackson with essential support from a working group of colleagues based in the School of Psychology and the two University Athena SWAN officers, Dr Maria-Grazia Cascio and Dr Rhiannon Thompson.

“We are delighted to be the first School at the University to earn the Athena SWAN Bronze award,” says Head of Psychology, Professor Arash Sahraie. “First and foremost we are proud and happy to work in an environment that actively promotes a culture of inclusiveness and equality and where we’ve put in place real initiatives that support that.

“This award is important and is recognition that we are making a difference and my thanks and congratulations go to the team that worked tirelessly to ensure we achieved it.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Diamond also adds his congratulations.

“I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to everyone in the School of Psychology for all the fantastic work they’ve put in to achieve this Athena SWAN Bronze award.

“Everyone at this University is committed to gender equality. We already hold an institution-wide Athena Swan Bronze medal and now to see us picking up School-specific awards is further proof that we are making great strides to meet the goals outlined in the charter.”

The University’s commitment to improving culture and practice within higher education has been further demonstrated by the recently announced Principal’s PhD studentship in Equality and Diversity within the School of Psychology.

The successful candidate will explore how cognitive bias impacts equality and diversity within higher education. Deadline for applications is August 31. More information can be found here.