The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) has had its commitment to identifying and successfully addressing gender inequalities recognised with an Athena Swan Silver Award.
SBS is the second School at the University to hold an Athena Swan Silver award, the first being the School of Psychology in 2020.
Advance HE’s Athena Swan Charter recognises commitment to the advancement of gender equality in academic, professional and support roles, and recognises departments and institutions taking action to identify and overcome barriers to career progression for all.
The School’s successful application was led by Dr Davina Derous and Professor Graeme Paton with essential support from the Athena Swan self-assessment team and Senior Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partner, Dr Maria-Grazia Cascio.
The Silver Award recognises the School’s commitment to assessing its current practices and culture, forming an action plan to address identified key issues; and demonstrating progress and success in addressing gender inequality.
“We are delighted to be awarded a Silver Athena Swan Award,” said co-chair of the Self-Assessment Team Dr Davina Derous. “It reflects the incredible progress we have made in the last five years to improve gender equality in both staff and student related practices and the overall culture in the School.
“As a department, we are investing in gender equality and it is great to receive external validation. We have a great team that is dedicated to the Athena Swan principles and the tremendous efforts of the team is reflected in how equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is incorporated in our day-to-day activities in the School.
“The award is valid until April 2028 and in those five years we aim to make field work more equitable, monitor new academic appointments for career progression, further build upon a culture that is inclusive, and make the School of Biological Sciences welcoming to all. Leading the application, I feel extremely proud of what we have achieved and the Silver award is the celebration of that success.”
SAT co-chair and Head of School, Professor Graeme Paton, added: “It is great news that we have been granted our Athena Swan Silver Award. It reflects the hard work of the team over this journey to meet our Bronze targets set out in our action plan and enhancing those to show real impact.
“I particularly want to thank the tireless work of Davina and the wider EDIand Athena Swan committees. As Head of School, I am extremely proud that EDI principles are embedded in our daily activities, long-term plans and in our allocation of resources.”