HAPP awarded Bronze Athena SWAN Award
The School of HAPP was recently awarded its first bronze Athena SWAN award from the UK Equality Challenge Unit which is part of Advance HE. The award is made in recognition of good practice and advancement towards gender equality in higher education establishments in relation to representation, progression and success. Part of the application process involved the creation of an action plan which will shape the School's work over the next five years.
The action plan will see the School work to further foster a culture of respect and gender equality by improving students' awareness of the work of the School's SWAN team, involving students more in SWAN activities, and raising students' awareness of the university's policies on harassment and bullying. For staff, this culture will be improved via a better gender balance, achieved by encouraging the recruitment and progression of female academics, as well as by promoting female role models and facilitating a culture in which staff with caring responsibilities can thrive. Gender culture surveys of staff and students are also a required part of the process and act as a barometer of gender inclusivity in the School.
The application showed good evidence of moves towards gender equality in HAPP. For example, the share of female students has increased at all levels of studies since 2016; female students now comprise a small majority at undergraduate, PGT and PGR levels. Academic staff in the School are 38% female and 62% male; this represents a 6-point increase in female staff from 2016. However, there is still work to do. Gender gaps remain in the student bodies of some disciplines and in the profile of senior academic staff.
You might ask, why does gender equality matter? HAPP's philosophy emphasises that equality and diversity are relevant to both staff and students and impact not only how the School supports our community but also what happens in the classroom, in the curriculum, in reading lists, and in class discussions. The attainment of gender equality will allow the School to reach its full potential, eradicate the gender pay gap, remove the obstacles faced at the major points of career development and progression and ensure that all in our academic community are treated equally and with respect.
“Athena Swan recognition in the school of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics is vitally important for us and we will ensure that we take forward our ambitious action plan over the next 5 year period. The award is recognition of the tremendous work our Athena Swan team do in the school and the school’s commitment to its goals."
Prof Alister Miskimmon, Head of School