Alongside my research and teaching activities at Edinburgh Napier University, I am the University’s Academic Champion for Athena SWAN. This week I was pleased to hear that much of the work that I have led in this role since 2013/14 has been recognised externally.
Athena SWAN is the Equality Challenge Unit’s charter for women in science. The charter recognises the commitment of universities to the advancement of women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). As part of its work the Equality Challenge Unit grants bronze, silver and gold awards to organisations that can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM in higher education.
In 2014 I led a team of fifteen staff from across the University in the preparation of a bid for the University to be granted an Athena SWAN bronze award. The application was submitted in November 2014, and yesterday the official word came through that it had been successful. It’s great to see Edinburgh Napier University in the Equality Challenge Unit’s list of new award winners. We are especially proud of our achievement of winning the bronze award at first attempt.
The next stage in our work is to implement the twenty-two actions that are listed at the end of our submission document in our Action Plan. Our bronze award is valid until 2018, at which point we hope to be in a position to apply for a silver Athena SWAN award.