School of Healthcare Sciences celebrate Athena SWAN Bronze award
15 October 2015
Having successfully renewed a University-wide bronze award in 2014, The School of Healthcare Sciences has now been granted the prestigious Athena SWAN bronze award in recognition of its school achievements in progressing and supporting women in their careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.
The Athena SWAN charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women and has made a measurable positive difference for gender equality since 2005. More recently it has expanded to recognise Professional and Support Staff, Trans Staff and Students and addresses gender equality on a broader level. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to the ten key principles that the charter is primarily based. To view these principles click here.
The School of Healthcare Sciences was one of 92 university applications (out of the total 139 applications received) to be successful during this round. Sarah Wooley, School Manager highlights particular areas in the Athena SWAN submission that the school have been focusing on;
1. The realignment of 82% of our academic staff to the Teaching and Scholarship pathway in 2012, a career pathway better able to support them to achieve their potential - resulted in a 250% increase in promotions applications in 2013 and a further 130% increase in 2014. Within the context of the School, this was a momentous change and did much to support our mission to value diversity and promote equality of opportunity.
2. On creation of the new School, the former SONMS’ Associate Lecturer Scheme – where clinically credible practitioner’s role model working practices and provide students with professional skills education - was rolled out to include other Healthcare professions, expanding and diversifying. During their time in the School Associate Lecturers are supported, developed and encouraged to consider a career in academia. Since the creation of the new School nearly 20% of academic vacancies (6 of 32) were appointed from current or former Associate Lecturers who have progressed to lecturer positions.
3. There have been a number of opportunities for staff to take on senior leadership roles and professional coaching has been provided to all role holders. Mentoring has also been offered to all staff, to unlock their potential and embrace opportunities to develop skills in leadership and management.
Professor Heather Waterman, Dean and Head of School states 'As a relatively new school which has undergone a significant period of change, we are so proud to be celebrating this achievement. The Athena SWAN bronze award demonstrates our commitment in developing an inclusive working environment. It shows that we are supporting and encouraging all of our staff and students to achieve their full potential. This award provides us with the opportunity to build on our existing knowledge and champion gender equality in our future endeavours.’
Whilst celebrating this fantastic achievement the school is now working towards the next Athena SWAN silver award by continuing to foster and build on a culture that promotes equality and celebrates diversity.