The Athena SWAN Charter was initially established in 2005 to recognise commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia. In 2015 the Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
Edge Hill University is a member of the Athena Swan Charter and currently holds an institutional Bronze Athena SWAN Award.
The Department of Psychology is committed to promoting equality and diversity for all staff and students. In October 2018, we successfully obtained our Bronze Award.
What is the issue?
Across the Higher Education sector, two key issues regarding gender equality are apparent in the subject of psychology:
- Significantly more women compared to men are registered on undergraduate psychology degrees
- Significantly more men compared to women are employed in senior academic roles in universities (e.g., Professor, Managers)
How we are supporting gender equality
Collecting research data on gender identity
Collecting demographic data on gender is a standard part of our research activities. We encourage all members of the Department, including student researchers to avoid using simple binary response options in research surveys obtaining information on gender.
Visibility of self-identified pronouns
Not everyone categorises themselves in line with male/female pronouns. There are plenty of discussions which speak to the benefits of making visible preferred pronouns as this can support allyship for those who identify as non-binary. We are encouraging members of our Department to make visible their self-identified pronouns such as via email signatures and staff webpages.See the University inclusive language guide
Aurora leadership training
Edge Hill University is forthcoming in supporting women in leadership through offering fully-funded places on the Aurora Leadership Scheme . The Department of Psychology has capitalised on this in which a number of our senior female staff members have attended this programme. Edge Hill University also runs an Aurora Mentoring Scheme, which Aurora alumni are encouraged to engage in as a means of supporting other colleagues on the scheme. Find out more about the Aurora Scheme from Professor Helen Newall based on her experiences as an Aurora participant.
Many of our colleagues across Edge Hill University champion the values of Athena SWAN in their work.
Getting involved in science
There are many schemes which are facilitated by scientists, to encourage young people to get involved in science and other STEM subjects. These include:
An online, student-led STEM enrichment activity. It connects school students with scientists through energetic real-time text based chats.
A public outreach platform for promoting women and non-binary scientists and the science they do.
Connecting students to STEM professionals through letters to broaden student awareness of what STEM professionals look like and the work they do.
The University’s policies and procedures, can be found here on the HR website, including information on family friendly policies, induction and probation, and promotion.
Supporting leadership for women in Higher Education.
Science Grrl Science is a national group that celebrates women in science.