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Athena SWAN success for STEMM schools

Athena SWAN

All science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) schools at the University of Reading now hold Athena SWAN awards, with the majority being at a Silver level.

Following the April 2019 Athena SWAN awards round, the results announced today, the number of our schools holding Athena SWAN awards has risen from six to seven. While several schools retained Bronze and Silver awards, we are delighted to announce that two schools saw significant improvements against previous years. The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD) received a Bronze award in this round, and the School of Chemistry, Food & Pharmacy (SCFP) rose from Bronze to Silver.

Silver awards are now held by the School of Chemistry, Food & Pharmacy (SCFP), School of the Built Environment (SBE), School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences (SMPCS), and the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES). Bronze awards are currently held by School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD), School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences (SPCLS) and School of Biological Sciences (SBS).

Athena SWAN awards recognise the advancement of gender equality in higher education. Until 2015, the award covered only the STEMM disciplines, but has since expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law departments.

The renewal and application process required substantial effort, including completing a self-assessment document that reflects on quantitative and qualitative analysis, including results of surveys of staff and students, to understand where the local gender equality issues are, and progress made against any previous action plan and impacts of previous actions. Each submission also includes, based on the self-assessment, an action plan to make real improvements in gender equality over the next four years.

Professor Simon Chandler-Wilde, Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, said:

"I'm grateful to the self-assessment teams from all the schools that made submissions in the April 2015 round for all the work that they have done over an extended period, typically a year or more, leading up to the submission. I'm really pleased that all our STEMM schools now hold awards, the majority now at Silver level, and I look forward to seeing the positive changes that will be driven be the new action plans developed."

Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation, said:

"These awards are an excellent achievement by the dedicated and enthusiastic Self-Assessment Teams who led the submissions on behalf of their Schools. It's particularly pleasing to see progress and improvement in several Schools and I look forward to seeing their plans in action and working with them in my role as UEB Diversity Lead."

Athena SWAN awards are also given at an institutional level. The University currently holds a Bronze award, and we will be submitting an application for a Silver award at the end of November. 

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