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SMPCS renews its Athena SWAN Silver Award

Athena SWAN Silver

The School for Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences (SMPCS) has successfully renewed its Athena SWAN Silver Award for the second time.

It originally won the award in 2010 and renewed it in 2014.

Athena SWAN awards are given by the Equality Challenge Unit and recognise the advancement of gender equality in higher education. Until 2015, the award covered only the STEMM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine), but has since expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law departments.

For SMPCS, the award renewal process was led by Joy Singarayer and Calvin Smith, as the co-chairs of the School’s Equality and Diversity Committee.

The renewal process required a substantial effort, including completing a self-assessment document that reflected on the progress made against the previous action plan and set out an action plan for the next four years. The submission also included an analysis of data to ascertain the real impact of the actions, and a survey of staff and students on how well the changes had worked so far.

Joy and Calvin said, “The most important aspect of the renewal process was the opportunity to engage with colleagues across the School on what Athena SWAN aspires to do, and see their enthusiasm to make our school a fairer place for everyone.

“We all know that diverse institutions are more successful and innovative, and their people are more successful if they are allowed to be themselves at work”.

Ben Cosh, Head of SMPCS, said, “I would like to congratulate all my colleagues on this fantastic achievement. As Joy and Calvin would tell you, retaining an award is as tough as getting it. The successful renewal of our Silver Award reflects that we are not only good at making commitments but even better at keeping them”.

The renewal of SMPCS’s award means that six of the University’s seven STEMM Schools hold an Athena SWAN award.

The School of the Built Environment (SBE), School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences (SMPCS) and School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES) all hold a Silver Award. SPCLS, SBS and School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy (SCFP) hold a Bronze Award.

At an institution level, the University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, and we are working towards submission for a Silver Award in 2019.

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