School of Mathematical Sciences retains its Athena Swan Bronze award
The School of Mathematical Sciences has successfully retained its Athena Swan Bronze award in recognition of its commitment to advancing Gender Equality.
What is the Athena Swan Charter?
The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research.
Our School was last successful in achieving the Athena Swan Bronze award in 2016 and since then we have made great deal of progress in advancing gender equality. There is, of course, a lot of work still to do and we have an ambitious plan for the next 6 years.
We caught up with Claudia Garetto, Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead for the School of Mathematical Sciences to learn more about what this award means for the School.
What achievements are you most proud of since the last award in 2016?
I am very proud of the increase in the number of female academic staff in the School. We have passed from 17.6% in 2017/2018 to 23.2% in 2021/2022. We have achieved this by making our School more visible to prospective female applicants (the percentage of female speakers invited at our seminars has double in the last five years) and by actively recruiting female academics via our Talent Scheme. In addition, we have tripled the number of successful female promotions in the last 5 years and we have achieved a gender balance in the Senior Management Team.
What are some of the actions the School will be taking in the coming years?
The percentage of female undergraduate students has unfortunately dropped from 49% in 2016/2017 to 39.3% in the current academic year. It is definitely our priority to increase the percentage of female students in our undergraduate and postgraduate communities through strategic outreach activities and events targeted at self-identified female and non-binary students. We will continue to improve the gender balance of our staff at all seniority levels and make sure that the School environment is truly inclusive.
How does the Athena Swan charter ensure equal opportunities for non-gender conforming people?
One of the Athena SWAN principles is acknowledging that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of ALL. This means going beyond the dichotomy of male/female. In our School we want everyone to feel accepted and valued and actions we have taken include: offering more than two genders on our forms for our staff and students, and making sure that events which were traditionally dedicated to women only are now open to everyone who identifies as female and/or non-binary.
What advice do you have for our Maths community to ensure we are all supporting the School’s gender equality activities?
Come to our events, engage with our activities! There is a lot of work behind them and the EDI committee will work better if it feels supported and acknowledged. And remember, we always have space for new members.
To find out what other events have been taken place as part of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion events, please visit the Maths EDI news webpage.