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University reaffirms commitment to gender equality at Sussex

The University of Sussex has published its gender equality action plan, which brings together all of the institutional-level actions and initiatives to promote gender equality and reduce the gender pay gap at Sussex.

Some of the key focus areas in the plan relate to:

  • promotion and career progression – for example, through evaluation of the impact on women’s career progression of the new academic career pathways introduced in 2019
  • flexible working and career breaks – monitoring the impact of the University’s ‘Flexible by default’ policy
  • staff recruitment – including guidance for search agencies to ensure a diverse representation on all longlists and shortlists for senior posts
  • and the analysis of data to develop targeted actions across all areas.

Significant progress has already been made in a wide range of areas. For example, the Organisational Development Unit manage a successful mentoring programme that is available to all staff. The take-up has been much higher from female staff members, who make up two-thirds of the pairings.

The action plan will ensure that the University continues to be proactive to further promote gender equality.

Sharon Neal, Assistant Director of Culture and Inclusion in Human Resources, said: “We recognise the challenges that remain and are fully behind implementation of the wide range of targeted actions that make up our ambitious gender equality action plan.”

The University applied in November 2019 to renew its institutional Athena SWAN bronze award, recognising advancement of gender equality. The review panel have asked the University to strengthen its application and resubmit by April 2021. Sussex will retain its current award during this year.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Stephen Shute said: “Holding an institutional Athena SWAN award and departmental awards for each of our schools remains a clear goal for us as part of delivering our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, Inclusive Sussex.

“I know that the EDI Unit will work closely with the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and the new Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), once they have been appointed, to achieve our goal of renewing our institutional award.”

Jackie Rymell, Head of the EDI Unit, said: “We had hoped to be re-accredited now, but we remain positive about our record relating to gender equality and to the actions we have outlined in our gender equality action plan. This gives us an opportunity to grow our plans in collaboration with colleagues across the University.”

In addition to the University’s institutional Athena SWAN bronze award, the following schools currently have department-level awards:


Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Friday, 15 May 2020

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