UEL has been recognised with an Athena SWAN bronze award for its work supporting gender equality.
Dr Lisa Mooney, UEL Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange), said, “We are extremely proud of this achievement. The institutional award application was the result of a collaborative effort and huge amount of work and dedication from across the institution.
“The outcome recognises our commitment and achievements to date and, importantly, that we have a robust plan in place to further promote and embed gender equality at UEL.”
Lisa chaired the steering group that guided UEL’s application. She and other University officials have been invited to accept the award at a ceremony in Glasgow on December 4.
Athena SWAN is a charter, established in 2005 and managed by the Equality Challenge Unit, which supports and encourages universities to work towards gender equality. Higher education institutions which join Athena SWAN commit to adopting the charter’s principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
The Bronze award recognises UEL’s commitment to, and success in, supporting gender equality. The recognition is valid until 2021.
UEL submitted its application for a Bronze award in April 2017. The application involved a self-assessment process which took place over a year and was guided by a steering group comprised of representatives from across the University. The self-assessment created a better understanding of gender equality issues at UEL and directed the development of an action plan to address those issues.
Key priorities in UEL’s action plan included attracting, recruiting and retaining a diverse talent pool; developing a longer-term career development strategy which supports and facilities promotion aspirations for female academics at each career transition point; developing and implementing ways of working to facilitate an inclusive organisational culture such as through better representation and visibility of role models and developing a more flexible working environment for all support and academic staff.
The action plan also sought to align with the University’s broader Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, Corporate Plan and Academic Strategy. A core institutional goal is to improve the number of women and BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) senior staff members to better represent the local population.
The next step is for UEL’s individual academic departments to develop submissions. UEL also intends to apply for an institutional Silver award.
Clare Matysova, UEL’s Athena SWAN Project Officer, said, “The Athena SWAN self-assessment process acts as an essential management tool to facilitate gender equality.
“The success of our institutional application is so important and a key step in UEL’s Athena SWAN journey. It gives us the impetus to continue this work through our academic departments, looking at their specific contexts and advancing equality for all our staff and students.”
UEL has also recently signed up to the Equality Challenge Unit’s Race Equality Charter.
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