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Department of Biological Sciences achieves Athena SWAN Silver Award

The Athena SWAN Awards are bestowed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) to recognise and reward commitment to gender equality in higher education.

Birkbeck's Department of Biological Sciences is proud to be awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), having been upgraded from its previously held Bronze Award. The award recognises the department’s commitment to achieving gender equality across the institution and the progress that it is making in this area. It is valid until April 2022.

ECU’s 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 in higher education and research.

In 2015, the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. 

Professor Carolyn Moores was the coordinator for the Department of Biological Sciences’ Athena SWAN self-assessment team who, together with a number of colleagues, prepared the recent award application.  

She said: "Our Athena SWAN work aims to provide a framework for supporting and recognising the talents of all our staff and students and to nurture a culture of fairness transparency and tolerance. We are delighted that these efforts have been recognised with a Silver Athena SWAN award, which signifies that we are making a positive impact in the department.

“Our actions have included activities to support career development for postdoctoral researchers, implementation of a mentoring programme and regular social activities. The award provides a great incentive to maintain our efforts so that everyone in the department feels supported in reaching their potential."

The awards will be formally presented at an awards ceremony at the University of Southampton in December 2018. 

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