The Athena SWAN Bronze Award was conferred on the Department in 2018. Our submission included a self-assessment process and the development of an action plan to help us understand and address gender gaps in representation and achievement at all levels, so that we can improve career development support and continue to build an environment in which all staff and students feel part of the department and able to achieve their potential. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is now working on the reviewing the action plan for Athena Swan and setting priorities for its work on race equality.
The Athena SWAN Charter is an initiative established by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) designed to recognise and encourage good practice in gender equality in Higher Education. It was first started in 2005 to acknowledge progression in advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL). It was also extended to cover professional and support roles within higher education. More recently Advance HE has reviewed the principles of the Athena Swan charter and more information is available on their website.
In 2017, the Department of Economics completed a self-assessment covering gender balance amongst staff and students, opportunities for career progression and the quality of the working environment. An application documenting these findings and the resulting proposals and strategies for improvement was submitted in May 2018, and in October 2018 the Athena SWAN Bronze Award was conferred. The Equality and Diversity Committee, established as a result of the Athena SWAN work, met for the first time in November 2018 and is overseeing the implementation of the proposed action plan which will ensure equality in representation, progression and success for all.