Participation in the Athena Swan Charter is a key part of our ethos in the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES). Staff, students and alumni of CES work every day to help build a more sustainable world and, as part of this, we are committed to putting sustainability at the heart of CES itself. Athena Swan plays a central role in this because we see equality, diversity and inclusiveness as integral components of sustainability.
The Athena Swan Charter encourages and rewards work to promote gender equality in universities. The charter covers academic, professional and support staff working in all disciplines, focusing on their representation, progression of students into academia, and the journey through career milestones. The aim of the charter is to ensure a fair working environment for all, regardless of gender. In 2015, the charter was updated to explicitly include trans students and staff. More details on the Athena Swan Charter can be found here.
The CES Athena Swan team includes MSc and PhD students, as well as staff at different stages of their careers. CES currently holds a Bronze Athena Swan award and the team are working towards Silver.
In CES, we have taken several steps towards equality, with more planned. We are, for instance, the first (and only, so far) department to arrange Unconscious Bias training for our MSc students. For example, going forwards, we are working to increase female postgraduate applications, and are monitoring and taking steps to ensure an equitable balance in the ratio of male: female guest speakers at CES Seminars and on MSc Modules.
The CES Athena Swan team is ambitious to build on CES’s Bronze Award by seeking the recognition of a Silver Award for our commitment to building on our successes in making CES a diverse, equal, and sustainable place in which to work and study.