Wrong! And it has nothing to do with swans either…
The Athena SWAN (scientific women’s academic network) charter has been developed to encourage, recognise and celebrate women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM), employment in higher education and research. It concerns not only women in academic roles, but also progression of students into academia and best practise in the working environment of all staff working in science disciplines. Some examples of good practice are:
- creating an effective workload model for staff that takes into consideration their diverse responsibilities;
- positive steps towards flexible working, career breaks and parental policy.
In practice this may translate into actions such as scheduling meetings during core hours, addressing bias during interview selection or mentoring of staff. The current action plan for the department can be found here. You can also follow @UoL_Athena_Swan.
Our department currently holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. There are three categories of these awards, at both university and departmental level: bronze for planning, silver for doing and gold for sustaining. From the award submission feedback, it was noted that the creation of the Working Lives Committee would enable the department to embed good practices and spread the positive impact of engagement with Athena SWAN.
Did you know all this about Athena SWAN? Did this post help clarifying some concepts? Please leave your comments below.