Manchester’s Athena Swan Bronze Award, received in 2008, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.
There are three levels of Athena Swan awards:
- Bronze – planning
- Silver – doing
- Gold – sustaining
We're committed to demonstrating a real culture change within the University and our individual Schools and Departments. Our Schools and Departments holding Athena Swan award include:
- Bronze Award: the Department of Computer Science; the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; the Department of Law; the Department of Mathematics; the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering; and the School of Social Sciences.
- Silver Award: the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science; the Department of Chemistry; the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Materials.
- Prior to the restructure that created the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health in August 2016, the Faculty of Life Sciences and all of the Schools and Institutes at the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences held Athena Swan awards. These include Bronze awards for the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, and Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, and Silver awards for the Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester Pharmacy School and the School of Psychological Sciences.
The Athena Swan Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEMM employment in higher education and research.
In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
Examples of good practice recognised by the Athena Swan charter include:
- creating an effective workload model for staff that takes into consideration their diverse responsibilities; and
- positive steps towards flexible working, career breaks and parental policy.
In practice this may translate into actions such as:
- the active scheduling of meetings between the hours of 10am and 3pm;
- addressing unconscious bias during interview selection procedures; and
- mentoring of staff, from researchers to professors, to allow progression of careers and to ensure equal opportunities are available to all.
Our commitment to the principles of the Athena Swan Charter, joined with the growing acknowledgement of the award by research councils, will ensure a diverse and vibrant working environment for staff and students.