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Celebrating Athena SWAN success

30 May 2023

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of its commitment to tackling gender inequality.

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 who can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in these areas.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy received its award by liaising with staff and students of all levels to identify the main areas that needed to be addressed to promote greater gender equality, and a more inclusive culture within the school. The team then designed an action plan to achieve ambitious objectives over the next five years.

Work across all disciplines was highlighted at its celebratory event in May in a range of dynamic presentations on related projects, including:

  • Liquid Racism Project (Dr Tereza Spilioti)
  • School Internationalisation Strategy (Professor Mike Handford, Centre for Language and Communication Research)
  • Missing Movies: The Feminist Possibilities of Unfinished Films (Dr Alix Beeston (English Literature)
  • Queer Portraits (Ethan Evans, English Literature PhD)
  • Intersectional Perspectives: Identity, Culture and Society (Morgan Lee, English Literature PhD, Editor-in-Chief and Arwa-Al-Mubaddel, English Literature PhD, former Editor-in-Chief)
  • Philosophy Corridor Murals (DrLiz Irvine, Philosophy)
  • Attitudes towards Diversity: An Ethnographic Case Study of Language Practices in a Welsh Secondary School (Anaer Yeerjiang, Centre for Language and Communication Research PhD)

Introducing the event were the university’s Head of Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Rebecca Newsome and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Damian Walford-Davies alongside Associate Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dr Michelle Aldridge-Waddon and Head of School Professor Martin Willis.

Chair of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in the school, Dr Jane Moore led the submission for the award. She said: “We’re delighted to have secured an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which demonstrates the progress we’ve made as a school in relation to gender equality and our ongoing commitment to a range of actions that will make us a more diverse, inclusive, and equal community.

“Thanks go to our self-assessment team and all staff and students who contributed to the development of our submission and action plan which we’re now looking forward to delivering.”

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment.

Ten years on, the Charter expanded to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly.

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