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University achieves Athena SWAN Bronze Award

The University of the Highlands and Islands has been recognised for its commitment to gender equality by achieving an Institutional Bronze Award as part of the Athena SWAN Charter.

The Athena Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine fields in higher education and research.

The university became a member of the Athena SWAN Charter in March 2015 and submitted an application for a Bronze Award in November 2016.

The university’s Athena SWAN self-assessment team was required to reflect on the university’s policies and practices before developing an action plan to help promote gender equality. The plan includes approaches to increase the number of female staff in senior academic roles, evaluate barriers to career progression and increase mentoring opportunities for female staff. Work has already started on implementing the action plan and the university will continue to monitor and review its progress over the next three years.

Dr Mary Doherty, chair of the university’s Athena Swan self-assessment team, led the Bronze Award application with support from staff around the university partnership.

Welcoming the award, she said: “The achievement of Athena Swan Institutional Bronze status reflects the commitment of the university to gender equality for all staff and students. We have used the process to evaluate our current status and to develop a robust action plan. I look forward to working with colleagues across the university to implement our action plan in the coming years so that we can ensure equity of access to study, development and career progression.”

The university’s Athena SWAN action plan can be found at www.uhi.ac.uk/en/research-enterprise/staff-dev/athena

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