Making News

Kingston University's School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry awarded institution's first Athena SWAN bronze department accolade

Kingston University's School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry has received an Athena SWAN bronze award, recognising its commitment to gender equality and inclusivity.

The School, based in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, is the first department at the University to receive the accreditation from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU). The Government-funded organisation aims to promote diversity and improve the experience of all those working and learning in institutions in the United Kingdom.

The achievement comes after the University received an institution-wide bronze award last October and demonstrates how the School has embedded its work to advance gender equality and progression at departmental level, Vice Dean for the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing Dr Lucy Jones said.

The Athena SWAN Bronze department award recognises the School\'s work addressing barriers to progression.The Athena SWAN Bronze department award recognises the School's work addressing barriers to progression."We're very proud of the team within the School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry for the hard work they have put in to becoming the first at the University to receive this recognition," Dr Jones, who is the University's gender equality champion and lead on Athena SWAN submissions, said. "Achieving this departmental award is a further sign of our commitment to promoting gender equality at all levels and part of our journey towards our aims of achieving silver status as an institution."

To achieve bronze accreditation, a self-assessment team in the School examined the staff and student make up and equality initiatives currently in place, before putting together a comprehensive action plan identifying how best to support staff in their career progression and placing gender equality at the heart of its work.

ECU established its Athena SWAN Charter in 2005 to encourage and recognise activities aimed at advancing the academic careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine in higher education and research. In 2015 it was expanded to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and now covers professional and support roles within higher education as well as trans staff and students.