Award for gender equality

Tue, 08 May 2018 14:42:00 BST
The School is committed to promoting STEM subjects to girls
The School is committed to promoting STEM subjects to girls

The School of Engineering and Built Environment has been presented with a prestigious Athena SWAN Award in recognition of its commitment to promoting gender equality among students and staff.

SEBE is GCU’s first School to be recognised with the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU)’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

The ECU scrutinised how the School recruits and retains female staff and students, promotes women staff and creates a fair environment.

Professor Iain Cameron, SEBE Dean, said: “I am delighted that the School’s application for this prestigious award has been successful. The Athena SWAN ideals are embedded in our planning and in the creation of our strategy and we work hard to ensure that gender equality is at the heart of everything we do. For example, we were the first university to team up with SmartSTEMS to open up our campus to hundreds of girls across the city every year to show them the exciting opportunities offered by careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

“The award is a tribute to the hard work of the staff and students who are devising and implementing plans to support gender equality across the School and Athena SWAN has a vital role in promoting the drive for us to further embed equality and diversity.”

The School’s submission was led by Senior Lecturer in Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering Dr Tuleen Boutaleb. She said: “The award is a visible seal of approval of the School’s good practices for future staff and student applicants. We are delighted and proud of the work done throughout the application journey, which began by coming to a better understanding of the issues that needed to be addressed, and resulted in a number of improvements such as promotion application feedback, induction and recruitment adverts that will benefit everyone in the School.”

The Athena SWAN Charter was developed in 2005 to support the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in science, engineering, technology, maths and medicine in education and research. In 2015, it expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles.

GCU signed the Athena SWAN Charter in 2011, and was recognised for its commitment to promoting gender equality with the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in 2016.

In April, GCU was named runner-up in the Guardian University Awards Advancing Staff Equality category for its focus on female academic progression.