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Tackling gender inequality

14 October 2022

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of institutional efforts to improve gender equality.

The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Awards are granted to organisations that can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in these areas.

Over the last five years, the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences has accelerated its efforts to improve gender equity as well as introduce additional diversity and inclusion activities, including training sessions, visits from external speakers, staff projects and away days. The School also ran its first (now to be annual) Earth Culture Day, celebrating cultures represented by our staff and research students.

By liaising with staff and students of all levels, the School identified the main areas that needed to be addressed to promote greater gender equality and a more inclusive culture. The team then designed an action plan to achieve ambitious objectives over the next five years.

Dr Jennifer Pike, Head of the School, said: “Our mission as a School is to create an environment that supports and nurtures everyone to fulfil their personal and professional ambitions.

“We’re delighted to have achieved a Bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our work to support that mission. The guidance of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group has been vital to delivering on the action plan. I’d like to thank them and colleagues from across the School for their commitment to these efforts.

“There is still work to be done, but we are committed to our mission of embedding inclusivity, equality and diversity at the heart of everything we do. We’re looking forward to working with staff and students in the coming years to achieve the Silver award.”

This month, Dr Rupert Perkins hands over leadership of the school's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee to Dr Ernest Chi Fru.

In committing to the principles of the Athena Swan Charter, the School recognise that we join a global community with a shared goal of addressing gender inequalities and embedding inclusive cultures. The Charter’s priorities have been developed based on an understanding of the local evidence base and national and global gender equality issues.

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