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#PlanetPartners: University taking steps to achieve gender equality – University of Reading

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#PlanetPartners: University taking steps to achieve gender equality

Release Date 11 May 2021

SDG5: Gender Equality

Increased support and opportunities for women and gender equality targets are helping the University of Reading, and the wider world, work towards a fairer society.

The University’s institutional and research efforts are underpinned by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are aimed at tackling societal and environmental challenges across the planet and are closely aligned with the University’s own strategy.

This May, the University of Reading is running a new #PlanetPartners campaign, inviting its entire community to share examples of work towards all the SDGs.

SDG5: Gender Equality covers efforts to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls around the world.

"There is no silver bullet to solve this issue, but by creating a full agenda of sustained activity we will drive the change that needs to happen." - Professor Claire Collins, co-chair of Women@Reading support network

Examples of work by the University to address SDG5 include:

Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Reading, said: “Last year, the University gained an Athena Swan Silver award, demonstrating visible leadership on gender equality and translation of plans into impactful actions.

“Our approach is to view the Athena Swan Charter mark as an audit and improvement tool rather than an end product, and to use it to help us lead the way in creating a sector which is open to sharing good practice, which is genuinely committed to dismantling inequality, and which is able to adapt to a changing world.”

Professor Claire Collins, co-chair of the Women@Reading network, said: "Every institution all over the world will tackle the issues embedded in SDG5 in their own way. A lot of this depends on context. Whilst we, at the University of Reading are lucky that our education system is open to women and men alike, this doesn’t yet translate through to equality in our staffing profile.

"The work that Women@Reading does supports getting a gender balance through all levels of the University and in all types of role. Whether that is by boosting the confidence of women, improving knowledge, addressing women’s health issues to ensure support is provided, or gaining the support of male allies to be advocates for women’s equality and call out poor behaviour an attitudes.

"There is no silver bullet to solve this issue, but by creating a full agenda of sustained activity we will drive the change that needs to happen."

The UN’s SDGs incorporate themes across the ‘five Ps’: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. These align with the University of Reading’s own strategic themes: Community, Excellence, Sustainability and Engagement.

This campaign follows the publication of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021, in which Reading participated for the first time and ranked in the top 200 globally, which scored participating universities on their support of the individual SDGs.


The University’s latest campaign is a continuation of the #PlanetPartners campaign launched by the University in October 2019, which is highlighting ways the University is working with global partners on projects that benefit the environment.

Follow the campaign and share your examples of work  on Twitter: @UniofReading | Facebook: /theuniversityofreading | Instagram: @uniofreading | LinkedIn: University of Reading | TikTok: @uniofreading using the hashtags #PlanetPartners and #sdgoals

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