School of Maths scoops National Award for gender equality
8 May 2018
The School of Mathematics has been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in recognition of its commitment to tackling gender inequality.
Established in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter was created to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) within employment in higher education and research. In recent years the scope has been expanded and now also includes disciplines such as arts and law, and in professional and support roles, and transgender staff and students.
The Silver award recognises that the School has taken action in response to previously identified challenges and has demonstrated the impact of the actions implemented.
Having held a Bronze award since 2014, the School of Mathematics has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at addressing the gender balance. These initiatives include:
- A weekly Women and non-binary people in Maths lunch.
- National Women in Mathematics conference designed to interest female and non-binary undergraduates in PhD study.
- Provided female role models by setting explicit targets for numbers of women for seminar and conference speakers.
- Ensuring balanced representation at undergraduate and postgraduate Open Days.
- The School’s action plan includes initiatives designed to ensure fair outcomes of recruitment processes and to promote work-life balance in the School.
Head of School, Professor Jens Marklof, said: "This Silver award recognises the School’s clear commitment that all our students and staff must be able to reach their full potential, irrespective of gender and background. This is particularly relevant in Mathematics, where we have a historic under-representation of women. We have set ourselves ambitious targets to achieve this, and I’d like to thank the School’s Athena SWAN team for preparing a comprehensive action plan that will serve as a benchmark for our future success."
Professor Oliver Johnson, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Mathematics, also commented: “I am very proud of our team effort to win this Silver Athena SWAN award. I look forward to us delivering the actions that we have designed to address the historical under-representation of women in the subject”.
The School of Mathematics is just one of three Schools’ at the University to be awarded a Silver award during the November submission round, with the School of Biochemistry and Bristol Medical School also being awarded silver status.
A full listing of the official results can be found on ECU's website.