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School awarded a Silver Athena SWAN award

26 April 2012

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies' commitment to women in science has been recognised with a national accolade.

Athena SWAN Ceremony, Elaine with Julia Higgins

Professor Dame Julia Higgins presented SONMS with the Silver Athena SWAN award

The School has been awarded the prestigious silver award under the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science. The Charter commends good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research, and awards success in recruiting, retaining and promoting women.

The award recognises the School's commitment to developing all its staff as well as its significant record of activity and achievement in supporting the careers of women. An innovative, dynamic School with clearly articulated goals, the SONMS demonstrated well established strategies for staff development in its Athena SWAN submission. 

Within nursing and midwifery education, teachers and researchers have often followed a non-traditional academic pathway - many entering academia after long, successful clinical careers. In this context, the School's priority has been to create new developmental opportunities with appropriate support through mentoring, coaching and leadership. Committed to the University's equality policy, the School has endeavoured to establish a 'can do' attitude, offering positive and enthusiastic support to all staff.

Sheila Hunt, Head of School, said about the award:

''We are the first school of Nursing and Midwifery to be awarded a Silver Athena SWAN in the UK.  As a School we invest in all our staff, promoting an environment that values  diversity and  promotes equality of opportunity. I am delighted that this has been recognised with this award, and we will continue to aspire to provide opportunities for all our staff to develop both personally and professionally.''

Athena SWAN Ceremony, Sheila and Elaine with award

Professor Sheila Hunt and Director of PGT, Elaine Beer, celebrate the School's achievement

The School's Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies, Elaine Beer,  led a group supported by Isabella Santamaria, the University's Equality and Diversity Manager, to prepare the School's submission to Athena SWAN and to develop an action plan for future initiatives. 

Elaine and Professor Hunt collected the award on behalf of the University at an awards ceremony on 3 May 2012. Hosted by the University of Birmingham, the ceremony included a speech by the patron of Athena SWAN, Professor Dame Julia Higgins, who presented the School with its award.    

Cardiff University itself is one of only 19 universities nationwide to have been awarded a prestigious Athena SWAN bronze award in 2009.