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Diversity Initiatives balloons

The Department of Earth Sciences has recently been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award.

The Silver award is evidence of our strong commitment to supporting women at all levels in the Department, and our broader inclusion strategy, which uses gender as catalyst to address broader challenges faced by students and staff from under-represented groups (including gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability).

This prestigious Athena SWAN Silver award from Advance HE (Athena Swan Charter), the national body that promotes equality in the higher education sector, is given in recognition of our strong and continued commitment to gender equality and reflects the significant progress made over the past years since our Bronze award in 2015.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Stuart Jones, current Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee in the department commented that the Silver award recognises the sustained efforts by members of the department at all levels over several years to make a difference and is a great achievement for the whole department. The submission also contained an ambitious action plan to improve our support further, which we will now put into practice over the next few years. Key topics include support for staff on non-permanent contracts, enhancing access to training, promoting mentoring uptake and enhancing the visibility of female staff and of our equality and inclusion policies. We aim to increase recruitment of women into academic positions, and support the recruitment, induction, promotion and career development of women.