University achieves Bronze Athena SWAN award

The University has been presented with the Bronze Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) award, recognising the University’s commitment to women’s career progression in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).

The presentation of the award took place last week (Tuesday 29 September), at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Marlene Bertrand, Equalities and Diversity Manager at the University, accepted the award on behalf of the University, and Dr Araxi Urrutia, a researcher at the University who was a member of the assessment group, also attended.

The Athena SWAN Charter, launched in June 2005, recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women working within SET at university or research institutes.

After becoming a member of the charter in 2007, the University submitted an application for the award in May this year.

The Athena SWAN judges were impressed by the University’s supportive working environment and its policies on work-life balance, flexible working and harassment.

The judges were pleased to see the variety of ways the University promotes female role models and welcomed the sharing of information with other Athena SWAN Charter members.

Mark Humphriss, Chair of the University's Equalities and Diversity Committee who chaired the assessment group on which each science and engineering department was represented, said 'The University is delighted to have received this award. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the consultation process and contributed to the application and who will be helping to ensure the action plan is implemented. I look forward to our continuing success in promoting gender equality at this university.'

Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) welcomed the honour. She said: “Academic excellence involves the talents and expertise of all our colleagues and I am pleased that our record has been recognised by this award.”

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