ECU Good Practice in Employment of Women Pilot Project
We are one of four Schools within Cardiff University taking part in a scheme to pilot the application process for an award recognising good practice in employment of women in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
The application process resembles the one used for departments and institutions applying to the Athena SWAN charter, an award which recognizes and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research. Cardiff University has received the Athena Swan Bronze Award in recognition of its success in recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in Science, Engineering and Technology.
The need for a scheme which also embraces non-SET subjects has been highlighted by the Equality Challenge Unit. Its 2011 Statistical Report showed that while 52.4% of female academic staff work in the arts, humanities and social sciences, only 24.9% of professors in these disciplines are female.
The pilot scheme will provide a framework for higher education institutions and their departments to identify, further develop, and share effective interventions that support career progression for women. It may also provide evidence for the environment template of the REF and for the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Progression of Researchers. The overall objective of the awards is to improve the representation of women employed in higher education through institutional and departmental level initiatives.
As our submission to the project progresses, documentation will be posted to this page.
Completion of an application to the pilot scheme calls for the assessment of the gender balance in the School at the level of both students and staff. It also requires a School-level statistical analysis of retention and of promotion practices. The report submitted as part of the project will address the role and impact of senior management and governance, networking and mentoring, workload, and career development opportunities. Within the picture of the School, data will also be provided on gender within the undergraduate and postgraduate student body.
A team of eight members of staff led by Professor Claire Gorrara, including Prof. David Boucher, will be assembling our submission between June and September 2012. As well as working with IT colleagues on data collection, the team members will also be running focus groups and surveys to develop an overview of the gender equality culture in the School.
The final report includes not only statistics and an analysis of the gendered aspects of academic teaching and scholarship but also an action plan to address areas where enhancements are possible. Feedback on the submission from the pilot scheme organisers is expected in October-December 2012.
This pilot submission and subsequent evaluation by a panel of experts will allow recommendations to be made to the Equality Challenge Unit regarding the issues to be addressed and to identify good practice that may lead to recognition through a future award scheme.
Following assessment of EUROP’s pilot submission by an Athena Swan panel, the school was judged to have attained a bronze level. Achieving this level means that the panel judged that EUROP had
- Clearly understood the importance of gender focused initiatives to support women in progressing their academic careers
- Analysed data and understood their current position
- Committed to beginning initiatives through a focused Action Plan
Our submission was to a pilot scheme and we will therefore have to await an approved Arts Humanities and Social Sciences scheme coming online to be able to apply for a fully recognised award.
Contributions and feedback from colleagues and students about gender equality issues are welcome at all time and can be sent directly to Claire Gorrara or Ryan Prout.