2021 - Athena Swan

GCU awarded prestigious Athena SWAN Institutional Silver Award

Mon, 10 May 2021 10:13:00 BST

GCU has been awarded the prestigious Athena SWAN Institutional Silver Award in recognition of its commitment to promoting gender equality among students and staff.

The award, presented by Advance HE, builds on the Bronze award GCU received in 2015 and recognises the University's commitment to supporting and transforming gender equality in higher education and research.

The School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment was also awarded a School Silver award and the Glasgow School for Business and Society was awarded a Bronze in the first roll out of the award to business and social science schools and departments.

The University's commitment to promoting gender equality was also recognised last month, when GCU was named number one in the UK for promoting gender equality – and in the top five in the world – in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. 

Principal Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: "I am delighted that Glasgow Caledonian University has received the prestigious Athena SWAN Institutional Silver Award, demonstrating our commitment to promoting gender equality. The Athena SWAN ideals are embedded in our new Strategy 2030 and both staff and students continue to work hard to ensure that gender equality is at the heart of everything we do.  

"The award is therefore a tribute to the dedication of the staff and students who are committed to implementing plans to further enhance gender equality across the University. I am extremely proud that the University’s commitment to promoting gender equality was also recognised in the 2021 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, where we were ranked fifth in the world and top in the UK for promoting gender equality.”

Professor Valerie Webster, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning Teaching and Student Experience) is the University’s gender champion and executive lead for Athena SWAN. She said: “As the University for the Common Good, our mission is to continually embed equality, diversity and inclusion in all our activities among staff and students. I am delighted that this ongoing commitment has been recognised in the prestigious Athena SWAN award.” 

The University's submission for the award was led by Professor Iain Cameron. He said: "The Athena SWAN Silver Award recognises the leadership of our Principal, the Executive Board, SMGs, Directorates, and every part of GCU to ensure that there are no structural or cultural obstacles to the advancement of women in all roles and grades at GCU. 

“I must acknowledge the oversight and direction given by our Advancing Gender Equality Group to this award submission. While the award focuses on gender, this group routinely applied the charter principles to race and other intersections which were, for the first time, part of the Athena SWAN application process. So, although GCU's Silver accreditation focuses on women, the charter is in fact about equality for all."

The Athena SWAN Charter is managed in UK Higher Education by Advance HE. It was developed in 2005 to support the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in science, engineering, technology, mathematics and medicine in higher 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.