Athena SWAN success as we scoop eight new awards

Our commitment to gender equality and career progression for women in Science, Engineering and Medicine has been recognised with eight new Athena SWAN awards.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.Athena SWAN May 2014

A silver accolade has been awarded to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, while seven new Bronze award departments were announced: the Departments of Biomedical Science, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, the School of Clinical Dentistry and the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: "The University is committed to ensuring it is an excellent place for women to work and progress to the highest levels in their field, and the awards are recognition of this hard work.

We've invested in a host of initiatives to ensure we continue to improve the career prospects of our female academics, from establishing a Women's Network and a University-level Gender Equality Committee, to increasing the number of mentoring programmes we have available.

"But we won't stop here. The progression of female academics is a significant part of creating a University culture that is inclusive at all levels. We are working with stakeholders from across and outside of the University to develop equality objectives that will transform our approach to inclusion, and ensure everybody feels valued and supported."

Mike Hounslow, Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engineering, is also delighted with today’s announcement: "It is excellent news that the Faculty of Engineering have received a bronze and a silver Athena Swan award. I am immensely pleased; this is a superb outcome and would not have been achieved without extraordinary commitment from those involved within the two departments."

Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, Faculty Director of Women in Engineering, said: “We are incredibly proud that Chemical and Biological Engineering’s commitment and hard work to ensuring a supportive and inclusive workplace has been recognised by Athena SWAN Charter.

“This richly-merited recognition also reflects the Faculty of Engineering's vision to become the number one choice for women to come to study and to work.”

Professor Jane Grasby, Chair of the Faculty of Science Equality Diversity Committee, is equally thrilled with her area’s success: “We are very proud that Athena SWAN has recognised that the departments across our Faculty support and provide an inclusive environment where our female staff and students can flourish.

“We look forward to continuing work in this area and to attracting more of the best female staff and students here."

The awards ceremony will be held at Durham University on 10 July 2014. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved!

Did you know?

We have an Athena SWAN plan and have established a thriving Women’s Network, more mentoring programmes, women-only training sessions, a photographic exhibition of successful females from across the University, a Faculty Director for Women in Engineering and a Women In Engineering group tasked specifically with leading initiatives to improve the representation of women at all levels, from undergraduate right up to Professor level.

The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) and currently there are 179 award-holding institutions and departments.