Sociological Studies recognised for the advancement of gender equality

The Department of Sociological Studies is very pleased to announce that, in August, we were awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award.

Athena Swan Bronze SCS 2023

The Bronze Award recognises the robust self-assessment of our gender equality context, the development of a 5-year action plan to address emergent priority issues and, subsequently, our commitment to the advancement of gender equality within the Department.

The Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women working in STEMM subjects in higher education, and in May 2015 it was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. The recently introduced Transformed Athena Swan Charter also recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and aims to nurture positive inclusive cultures that address issues experienced due to sex, but also gender identity, caring responsibilities, and other intersectional inequalities. 

We are now committed to build on the hard work of our self-assessment team to address the priorities identified for action, these being: 

  • To enhance wellbeing and workload for all staff groups; 
  • To address gendered barriers to career development and progression; 
  • To support more staff to feel that the Department supports work-life balance, particularly staff with caring responsibilities; 
  • To work better together so more staff and students feel that the Department is inclusive and supportive; 
  • To diversify staff and student recruitment.

Dr Julie Walsh who led the submission of the successful application, and now leads on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Department said:

Our success in being awarded a Bronze Athena Swan Award is a culmination of a collaborative commitment and a departmental buy-in to the gender equality assessment, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion more widely. We have worked hard to create an ambitious but workable 5 year action plan and are now excited to bring this to life, with real impacts for our staff and students.

Dr Julie Walsh

Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Joanne Britton, Department Director of One University, also a member of the Department’s Self-assessment Team said:

The Bronze Athena Swan award reflects the considerable collective efforts of staff and students in Sociological Studies. Delivering the action plan over the next 5 years provides an exciting opportunity to further the Department’s commitment to gender equality and building a collaborative, inclusive and supportive culture. We are very much looking forward to starting work on it.

Dr Joanne Britton

Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Department Director of One University

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