Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN is a charter scheme seeking to address issues of gender inequality in Higher Education. It was launched in 2005 with an initial focus on addressing the low numbers of women in STEMM subjects. The University first achieved a Bronze institutional award in 2008. In May 2015 Athena SWAN was expanded to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. The University is now encouraging departments in these fields to seek recognition through the Athena SWAN charter for the work they are doing to address gender equality.

Athena SWAN

These pages provide information on Athena SWAN. They will be updated regularly and will include the minutes of Self Assessment Team meetings and drafts of the School of Media, Communication and Sociology Athena SWAN application as it is developed.

The School of Media, Communication and Sociology is committed to providing a good working environment for staff and students. The School shares the Athena SWAN ideals and is currently working towards a bronze award.

The Athena SWAN Principles

Athena SWAN is based on ten main principles which the School will adopt within their policies, practices, action plans and culture. These are:

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions.
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans-people.
  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
  10. We acknowledge that all individuals have identities shaped by several different factors and we commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

We welcome input and participation from all staff and students across the Department. If you have any questions or comments or would like to get involved please contact Dr. Kaitlynn Mendes. More information can be found below.

  • Athena SWAN presentation by Lieve Gies
  • Meetings notes and minutes from the project team meetings (University staff only access)
  • Athena SWAN University Website: Information on the wider institutional work to gain recognition.
  • Athena SWAN External Website: The official website for Athena SWAN.
  • Flexible Working: Guidance document for flexible working staff in grade 6 or above.

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785

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