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Edge Hill University has retained its institutional bronze Athena SWAN award for recognising the University’s advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all.

Dr Nikki Craske, Director of Edge Hill’s Research Office and chair of the institutional self-assessment team, said:

“We are delighted that Advance HE has approved our Athena SWAN application for Bronze accreditation for a second time.  The successful outcome demonstrates the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. We now have an exciting action plan to realise and the establishment of a new Equality and Diversity Steering Group to oversee that process.”

She added:

“The commitment to the principles of Athena SWAN is also evident in the successful applications for Bronze awards by the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine. They join Psychology which was our first department to gain Athena SWAN accreditation last November.  My thanks to everyone who has participated in self-assessment teams and to those who will now lead on the action plans.”

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 it was expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Professor Ella Pereira, who led on the award submission for the Department of Computer Science, said:

“We have been actively engaged with promoting Women in STEM agenda through national and international initiatives. We are absolutely delighted to have received the award that will help us strengthen our commitment to increasing diversity and gender equality. This is a starting point for our department, challenges have been identified, and a plan to be implemented, to move forward and develop further.”

Head of Computer Science, Professor Nik Bessis, added:

“This is an exciting time for us to achieve the Bronze award status, the department is involved in a national initiative which aims to upskill women’s digital abilities in areas such as Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. This is particularly welcomed as one of the defining characteristics of Edge Hill is its long history of female empowerment, dating back to the institution’s origins.”

Carol Kelly, Head of the Department of Applied Health and Social Care, said:

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr Marian Peacock for her outstanding contribution to leading this process, she is a valued member of AHSC and we are very proud of the team’s achievement.”

Marian Peacock, Senior Lecturer from the Faculty of Health and Social Care, said:

“It is teamwork and drawing on all the skills and hard work of the self- assessment team that has resulted in this award. We are so pleased and proud of what we have been able to achieve together.”

Athena SWAN awards are allocated by the Equality Challenge Unit, which works closely with colleges and universities to try to ensure that staff and students are not unfairly excluded, marginalised or disadvantaged because of age, disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or through any combination of these characteristics or other unfair treatment.