Edinburgh is one of 94 universities and research institutes which are members of the SWAN Charter. There are 259 award holding universities and departments
The Charter is open to any university or research institute which is committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in science, engineering and technology mathematics and medicine (STEMM) ) in higher education and research.
Membership of the Charter can help HEIs 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.
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Edinburgh won its first University Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award in 2006 and successfully renewed in 2009 and again in 2012.
The School of Chemistry successfully attained Silver in 2006 and subsequently successfully renewed in 2009, following which they achieved Gold in April 2012. (first Gold in Scotland and second in UK)
In 2011, the School of Biomedical Sciences was awarded Athena Swan Silver.
The Roslin Institute achieved Athena SWAN departmental Bronze in April 2012.
In November 2012, announced April 2013, the Schools of Biolgical Sciences and Informatics achieved Silver. The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (first Vet School in the UK to win an AS Award), and the Schools of Engineering, GeoSciences and Mathematics all achieved Bronze.
These awards recognise achievements in having action plans in place which demonstrate progress made on gender equality, and include actions on how they intend to continue to progress.
The University is strengthening its commitment to gender equality through extending its aim to increase the proportion of Schools achieving the Athena SWAN Silver Award for the recruitment and promotion of women in science.
Many other Schools have already made a commitment to attain Athena SWAN Awards within the next two years, and in some areas work is already progressing.
Further information and details on progress will be posted on this website as they progress.
Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM in academia. Universities must achieve at least a Bronze award before individual departments can apply for recognition at bronze, silver or gold level in their own right.
The logic behind this is that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a department to sustain the level of e.g. a Silver award without university support and underpinning university good practice policies and processes. Awards are valid for 3 years.
Membership of the Charter also can help universities fulfil their public sector equality, duty, work towards sustaining equitable working environments and identify themselves as employers of choice, not only to their staff, but to students, funders, Research Councils and industry.
This article was published on Mar 18, 2014