The Athena Swan Charter is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.

Bath previously held an institutional Bronze award since 2010, with individual departments achieving six silver and 10 bronze departmental awards since 2017.

The latest accolade recognises the University as a leader in this area, being one of only 20 institutions to hold an institutional Silver Award. Currently no UK Universities hold Gold Award status.

The Awarding panel commended the University on successfully achieving 19 out of 21 actions from their 2017 Action Plan.

They particularly highlighted the increase of female professors at the University, from 16.4% to 22.1% since the 2017 Bronze award.

The panel praised the University’s Reimagining Recruitment project, which explores how to drive culture change surrounding academic recruitment, especially at early career stages.

Also contributing to the award were the success of the Aurora training scheme, a leadership development programme for women, and the use of the University’s Athena Swan blog for sharing best practice with colleagues and external audiences.

From these activities, they note that the university appears to be transparent about its EDI plans, further demonstrated by the engagement and success of most departments achieving a Bronze or Silver award.

Bath’s action plan will be used by Advance HE as a ‘best practice’ example for other institutions aspiring to achieve silver.

Dr Marion Harney, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering and the University’s Athena Swan Leader, chaired the University’s Self-Assessment Team in the Silver Award application.

She said: “The Athena Swan Charter awards demonstrate commitment to gender equality, good management practice and development of initiatives to bring about longer-term cultural change which will benefit all staff.

“I’m so pleased and excited about this fantastic news, which is a significant achievement for the University. I want to thank everybody for their contribution – it was truly a team effort. I’m looking forward to working with everyone to implement our ambitious five-year action plan.”

Vice-Chancellor and President of the University, Professor Ian White, said: “I am delighted to learn of this wonderful news.

“At Bath we value, promote and celebrate inclusion, putting equality, diversity and belonging at the heart of everything we do.

“This award is a tribute to the dedication of the staff and students who are committed to implementing plans to further enhance gender equality across the University, and I’d like to warmly congratulate everyone who has worked so hard towards this success.”

Aiste Senulyte Zubiniene, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, said: “Achieving our ambitions in relation to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is challenging and we still have much to do.

“However, this success is a truly collective effort that recognises the progress made in improving gender equality at Bath and the steps we continue to take.

“We now have a strong roadmap which will help make further significant steps as we continue our journey forwards in our equality work.”

Athena Swan Silver Award logo