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Sussex support for women scientists recognised in award first

The University has been successful in all three of its recent Athena SWAN applications: the renewal of Sussex’s institutional bronze award and bronze awards for the Department of Mathematics and School of Psychology.

Image result for athena swan bronzeThe new awards mean that all of the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics) schools at Sussex now have at least a bronze award. The School of Life Sciences was awarded an Athena SWAN silver award in April this year.

The awards have been conferred under the Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN charter, which since 2005 has recognised institutions which try to address gender inequalities, tackle the unequal representation of women in science and improve career progression for female academics.

Chair of the University’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), Professor Clare Mackie, said: “This is wonderful news and congratulations are to the team for their diligent efforts in this important area. I want to extend particular thanks to Professor Martin Gosling for his helpful workshop on smart objectives - and of course we’re all grateful for the work of Jackie Rymell, Dr Natalie James and Sarah Jones, who led on the drafting of the institutional submission.”

Athena SWAN lead for Psychology, Professor Sam Cartwright-Hatton, said: "The School of Psychology are thrilled to have received our Athena Swan Bronze award. The process of applying for this award has been a brilliant opportunity for the school.

“We have taken a hard look at all of our processes, and this has highlighted so many opportunities for positive change. Already our school surveys are showing that staff feel it is a fairer, more equal place to work. We look forward to continuing the process, and, hopefully, achieving our Athena Silver award."

Athena SWAN lead for Mathematics, Dr Yuliya Kyrychko, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award in recognition of our commitment to equality and diversity. Since we started the self-assessment process two years ago, we’ve already implemented a number of policies which benefit staff and students and make the department a collegiate place to work in.

“Seeing these positive changes brought in by the implementation of our Athena SWAN Action plan inspires us to work even harder on improving gender balance at all levels, and creating a fair and unbiased working environment in the Department of Mathematics.”

In addition to the University’s STEMM schools, the School of Law, Politics and Sociology also have a bronze award. Several other schools are starting to work towards awards now that Athena SWAN has been expanded to include non-STEMM disciplines.