The award recognises the organisation’s commitment to gender equality

By City Press Office (City Press Office), Published

City, University of London has been recognised for its commitment to gender equality by achieving the Bronze Award as part of the Athena SWAN Charter.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework used to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. It has now been five years since City received its first institutional Athena SWAN Bronze award. During this time, three of City’s Schools also received Athena SWAN awards, which is testament to the efforts of the many colleagues who worked hard to increase opportunities for female academics at all career stages.

In May 2022, City applied to renew its Institutional Bronze award under the new transformed charter. The changes to the Charter include a shift from a prescriptive approach to one of autonomy and flexibility, empowering the Self-Assessment Team to design an action plan tailored to City’s unique needs.

The five new priority areas in our renewal application are:

  • Empowering and enhancing the skills of Senior Leaders to engage inclusively and prioritise gender equality initiatives;
  • Implementing a new monitoring and accountability framework to track progress and measure success of gender equality initiatives;
  • Continually working to reduce the gender pay gap, to improve City’s gender representation and specifically to increase development opportunities for women into senior management level;
  • Collaboratively working to create an inclusive culture that promotes gender equality initiatives and celebrates diverse role models across the institution;
  • Building staff and student confidence in policies and procedures to prevent and better respond to bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment.

Dr Jessica Jones-Nielsen, Assistant Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said:

I am delighted that City has secured the renewal of the Institutional Athena Swan Bronze Award. This renewal reflects our ongoing commitment to embedding gender equality across the University and creating an inclusive learning and working environment for both our students and staff.

We also recognise the challenges that remain, and this continues to be a key priority in implementing our ambitious gender equity action plan. I am very grateful to members of the Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team and the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion, who have worked closely together to achieve our goal of renewing our bronze institutional award.”

Professor Juliet John, Senior Diversity Ambassador for Gender and Vice-President (Education) said:

“As Senior Diversity Ambassador for Gender, I am delighted that City’s institutional Athena Swan bronze award has renewed.

City’s historic commitment to EDI has been reaffirmed through both this award and the focused work that has been happening institutionally since the University was first awarded its Athena Swan.

I am grateful to all those colleagues who worked on the submission and who work every day to improve gender equity at City through myriad ways. I am particularly pleased that we now have five clear and important priority areas for improvement and look forward to working with colleagues on these to turn aspiration into demonstrative change for the better.”

About Athena SWAN

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, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL); in professional and support roles; and for trans staff and students. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly not just barriers to progression that may affect women.

City became a member of the Athena SWAN Charter in February 2014 and was awarded Bronze status in 2017. The Charter supports institutions to raise their Equality and Diversity profiles, both internally and externally and provides a framework on which to build on current good practice.

Athena SWAN awards are available in Bronze, Silver and Gold at both institution and departmental level. Universities must achieve at least a Bronze Award before individual departments can apply for recognition at Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.