University receives two awards to mark gender equality

Members of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences' Athena SWAN Taskforce Group
Members of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences' Athena SWAN Taskforce Group

The University of Birmingham has received two prestigious awards from the Athena SWAN Foundation, recognising its commitment to gender equality.

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences has achieved the Athena SWAN Silver award, while the Birmingham Law School has achieved the Athena SWAN bronze award.

Athena SWAN Awards, overseen by Advance HE, promote and reward good employment practice in the recruitment, retention and progression of female academics in all disciplines. Alongside these two awards, 10 Schools within the University now hold Athena SWAN awards.

Professor Jo Duberley, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) at the University of Birmingham, says: “The Athena Swan Charter recognises work undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research settings. The College of Medical and Dental Sciences being awarded the Athena SWAN Silver award and the Birmingham Law School being awarded the Athena SWAN bronze award is a fantastic achievement as it shows our success in making great strides in gender equality in academia.”

The Silver Award attributed to the College of Medical and Dental Sciences will run from October 2020 to September 2025. Commenting on the award, Professor David Adams, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences, said: "This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates that the College of Medical and Dental Sciences has made real improvements in terms of gender equality over the last few years. For the next five years we will have ample opportunity to progress even further on our way to gender equality and to embed priority consideration of equality, diversity and inclusion in all our actions and policies.

"I would particularly like to thank the members of our Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and everybody who has played a role in providing or interpreting information that has been so crucial to making our successful application, namely Professor Wiebke Arlt, the chair of the Athena SWAN Taskforce and College Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, her deputy Dr Sarah Conner, our EDI Officer Tom Syder, and the other members of the Athena SWAN Core Oversight Group: Sally Steele, Robbie Roberts, Professor Yemisi Takwoingi, Gaynor Miller and Dr Jan Idkowiak."

Birmingham Law School's submission was granted an Athena SWAN bronze award which also will run from October 2020 to September 2025.

Professor Lisa Webly, Head of the Birmingham Law School said: “Birmingham Law School is delighted to have been awarded the Athena SWAN bronze award. We are very grateful to Máiréad Enright as the lead, and the School self-assessment team, for their tireless work undertaking a sustained, intersectional, and sincere reflection on our equalities work, and committing us to implementing the comprehensive action plan over the coming years. Our vision of a global, diverse, and civic law school means we are deeply committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in our educational and research endeavours and look forward to continuing to develop our practice locally, nationally and internationally."

In May 2020, the School of Engineering achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for the first time, while the University as an institution had its 2014 Bronze Award renewed.

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