How and why we are proud holders of the Athena SWAN Silver Award.
The 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.
It is an initiative of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), which works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions across all four nations of the UK and in colleges in Scotland.
Our School was delighted to win an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2013, with a submission led by Professor Jane Hillston.
The awards are valid for three years. We re-applied for Silver again in April 2016, led by Professor Mirella Lapata, and were successful.
Our next submission will reflect a new version of the Charter, expanded to recognise work in other subjects 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.
Our 2016 Action Plan is being taken forward by an Implementation Group, in association with our Equality and Diversity (E&D) Committee, which constitutes our Athena SWAN Self Assessment Team (SAT).
We are delighted that our application has again proved successful. In recent years we have seen significant increases in the number of women in our student body and an increased proportion of women among our professoriate.
Edinburgh is one of over 130 universities and research institutes which are members of the SWAN Charter. It was awarded the first University-wide Silver Award in Scotland in 2015, having been awarded an Institutional Bronze Award in 2006 which was successfully renewed in 2009 and 2012.
Membership of the Athena SWAN Charter can help universities to fulfil their gender duty commitments, work towards sustaining equitable working environments and enable them to identify themselves as employers of choice, not only to their staff, but to students, funders, research councils and industry.