The university's commitment to gender equality continues through AdvanceHE’s framework of Athena Swan, and the establishment of the new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion themed areas. The Gender Equality Theme Leads will report into the new Intersectionality and Inclusion Oversight Group, along with the Co-Chairs of the Athena Swan Institutional Self-Assessment Team, Tamsin Majerus and Robert Mokaya.
I will provide more information about the new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Themed approach in future blogs, but for now I wanted to focus on Athena Swan as we prepare for the next Institutional submission in September 2023.
I would like to start by extending my congratulations to our colleagues in the School of Geography who recently won a Silver Athena Swan Award, and the School of Computer Science, the School of Economics, and the School of Education who have all achieved a Bronze Athena Swan Award. This is a fantastic achievement and I thank everyone for their time, commitment and support to gender equality at the university.
This focused approach on gender equality, which Athena Swan affords us, enables us to celebrate that 50% of our executive team are now women (which is up from just 30% in 2012). We also have gender parity across our 130 Senior Leaders, and nearly double the number of women applying for academic promotions.
Athena Swan has been instrumental in helping us to develop a clear and equitable promotions pathway which has meant that the number of female professors has increased from 84 to 157 since 2012. I am pleased to report that this figure is set to increase significantly with women now accounting for 40% of Associate Professors, up from 28.5% ten years ago. We have also seen significant improvements in gender balance through the recent professorial banding and pay review. Prior to the exercise there were no females in band D and only 9% working in band C. These have now grown to 2% and 26% of all professors at the university respectively.
I am also proud that the university was one of the Founder Signatories of the Technician Commitment to ensure visibility, recognition, and career development for women across our large body of technical staff, which was supported by the framework provided by Athena Swan.
Improvements to our recruitment and progression processes have led to a far more gender balanced Administrative, Professional and Managerial staff community. Recruitment, reward, recognition and career progression are Equality, Diversity and Inclusion priorities that will be an institutional focus in 2022/23 as we continue to work towards inclusive recruitment and the diversification of our workforce.
I am keen that we embed intersectionality within the next Institutional Athena Swan submission as we demonstrate how initiatives in the Athena Swan Action Plan provide benefits that extend beyond gender. The guidance and input from the Intersectional and Inclusion Oversight Group will help to shape and understand how actions can be smarter to maximise our resources.
I am pleased to inform you that Tamsin Majerus will be leading on the Institutional Athena Swan Application. Tamsin is experienced with both Institutional and Departmental Athena Swan submissions, is an Advance HE Panel Chair, and has offered extensive support and advice both at the university and to other institutions applying to Athena Swan.
In order to support Tamsin and ensure future contingency for the university, she will be supported by two deputy leads Jess Tyson and Katie Severn, as well as the Athena Swan Institutional Self-Assessment Team. Tamsin, Katie, and Jess have been formally bought out to complete this work and will have visible leadership roles across the institution. I have done this as I am committed to ensuring that those who work in advancing gender equality across the university benefit from the experience and are rewarded appropriately.
The institutional Athena Swan award is an opportunity to have all the hard work of the university community in driving gender equality externally recognised. I hope you will all support Tamsin, Katie and Jess over the next year as they complete this very important work.
Professor Katherine Linehan
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and People
11 August 2022