Congratulations to the department of Social and Policy Sciences, who were awarded a Bronze Athena Swan Award in February. This means that all 16 academic departments in the University now hold an Award, an accolade only a few universities in the UK have achieved. We also have a Silver Award for the University as a whole, a testament to the work of our University Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (USAT) and all our staff.

Dani Glazzard, Head of Athena Swan (UK), said: “Congratulations to the University of Bath and all its faculties on achieving Athena Swan awards across the breadth of its academic departments. All awardees have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to gender equality, especially in the face of a global pandemic. The awards are a testament to the diverse range of good practice developed and the huge efforts from people across the University.”

The Athena Swan Charter:

  • helps institutions and departments achieve gender equality objectives
  • assists institutions to meet requirements of equality legislation, funders and research councils
  • uses a targeted self-assessment framework to identify areas for positive action, and recognise and share good practice
  • supports the promotion of inclusive working practices that can increase staff retention, demonstrating a commitment to an equitable working environment.

Our submissions can be found on the Athena Swan website. As part of Athena Swan commitments, over the last year the University:

  • reduced the gender pay gap amongst staff and introduced a new pay band structure at Professor grade
  • was awarded Research England funding to pilot a Return to Work Fund, for academics to resume their research after taking family-related leave
  • launched new University-wide networking opportunities for female professional staff on grades 2-7
  • increased support for Senior Lecturers applying for promotion, with female professors now at 23.9%, compared to 21% in 2019
  • improved the representation of females at senior levels in the MSA job family from 2019 to 2022: from 22% to 43% in ALC/Prof pay band, from 60% to 61% on grade 7, and from 64% to 66% on grade 8.

Dr John Troyer, Chair of the Social and Policy Studies Self-Assessment Team said: “It was a great privilege to work on and then submit SPS's Athena Swan application. From a very young age my parents raised me to always engage in work that advanced equality and respect for groups often disrespected both in society and institutions. Sadly, my mom died in May 2022 and my father died in November 2022 so completing the Athena Swan process became an important way for me to honour their memories and how they taught me to see the world.”

Professor Rajani Naidoo, Vice-President (Community and Inclusion), said: “I would like to thank Professor Marion Harney, Head of Athena Swan for expert leadership, Aiste Senulyte Zubiniene, Equality Charters Manager for dedication and support, and all chairs for their hard work that has resulted in the University receiving a full house of Athena Swan awards over the last 10 years, and on this occasion in particular to the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. This showcases a true pan-institutional commitment and distinguishes us as sector leaders in gender equality work.

“Increasingly our gender equality work is embedded in a broader scheme of work at the University that aims to address not just equality, diversity, and inclusion, but the values and culture of the institution. Going forward, we will explore where possible to integrate Athena Swan actions with commitments that are part of other action plans, such as Disability Confident Leader and other Charter marks.”

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President, said: “I’m delighted to see all our departments playing an active part in identifying opportunities and challenges in gender equality and committing to a resulting action. Our success positions us as sector leaders in good practice in gender equality in UK universities.”

We will continue to work with individual Departments to plan our next steps. We aim to upgrade at least 50% of the existing Departmental Bronze Awards to Silver Awards, as well as at least one Gold Award, over the next three years.