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Birkbeck regains Athena SWAN Bronze award for addressing gender bias

The Athena Swan Charter is used globally to support and transform gender equality within Higher Education and Research.

This is a photo of the bronze Athena SWAN logo

The College’s commitment to achieving gender equity has been recognised by Advance HE with the Athena SWAN bronze award being given for the third time at institutional level.

The Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to support women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) and since 2015 has been used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly in non-STEMM areas, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Advance HE members who apply for the Athena SWAN status undergo a rigorous process of assessment. For the Bronze award, Birkbeck had to demonstrate a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

Professor Nick Keep, Executive Dean of the School of Science and Deputy Chair of the Self-Assessment (SAT) team said, “I’m delighted that the Athena SWAN award review panel has renewed our institutional bronze award status for five years. It is a great testimony to the hard work of the Athena SWAN SAT and the Equality and Diversity committee. The award recognises that we have worked on our previous action plan and successfully extended our remit to all Schools.  We are incredibly grateful for all of the work put in by both members of the self-assessment team and by other members of staff involved, with special thanks to Maura Paterson for leading the Action Plan Group, Natalie Pancheri for her tireless work on the narrative submission and Robert Morrison for the data.”

Charlotte Crofie, Director of HR, said: “I applaud the immense contribution of our staff in helping us to achieve the Athena SWAN Bronze award. Equality and inclusivity are central to our strategic objectives and at the very heart of Birkbeck’s vision to meet the needs of the underrepresented in our society. This accreditation represents the very best of what organisations can achieve when it comes to providing a more equitable environment for its whole community and I am sure this recognition at the institutional level will reaffirm our continued commitment to our staff, students and this agenda.”

Birkbeck initially engaged with Athena SWAN in 2012 and has set up a number of initiatives aligned with the Athena Swan Charter and its ten key principles, including the commitment to advance gender equality and the equal treatment of trans people, to reduce gender pay imbalances, and to consider the intersectionality of other factors relating to the individual besides gender.  Birkbeck also holds a number of departmental Athena SWAN awards including Silver in Biological Sciences.

Further Information

Find out about Birkbeck's engagement with Athena SWAN.

Read more about the Athena SWAN charter.

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