The School of Politics, Economics and International Relations was awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in May 2021.
Athena SWAN Awards recognize work to advance gender equality in institutions of higher education and commit us to continuing our efforts on an ongoing basis through continual self-reflection and targeted actions.
Applications for the award require extensive self-reflection, data gathering, and analysis with staff and students. SPEIR’s application, led by Professor Sarah von Billerbeck and Professor Marina Della Giusta, included running surveys of students and staff, holding focus groups with students and staff, synthesis and analysis of large amounts of quantitative data, and compilation and analysis of qualitative data on policies and practices. The award, tenable for five years, also commits us to implementing an extensive Action Plan aimed at mainstreaming gender equality throughout all our activities, improving in key areas, and building greater awareness of diversity and inclusion.
Key activities from our Action Plan (2021-26) include:
- Raising greater awareness and understanding of gender equality among both staff and students as it relates to teaching and learning, research, administration, and our community, and celebrating and sharing the successes of women and others.
- Re-assessing how we undertake recruitment of both staff and students to ensure that diversity and equality are at the heart of these efforts and undertaking a variety of outreach activities to attract a representative staff and student body.
- Enhancing existing mentorship schemes within the School to ensure that diversity and inclusion are transparently taken into consideration for promotion, progression, and changes in key roles.
- Enhancing the provision of support to pregnant colleagues and those going on or returning from parental leave, and ensuring that individuals are aware of and able to take advantage of all available resources in this regard.
- Engaging in continual self-reflection and conduct periodic self-assessment surveys to measure our performance and progress.