How we work towards gender equality
We are committed to ensuring that our institutional values are creating equitable opportunities and outcomes for all groups regardless of their gender identity. We have implemented an extensive action plan to address the gender pay gap and to ensure progression for all groups of staff according to merit.
Athena SWAN Charter and Action Plan
The Athena Swan Charter is a global initiative that aims to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Launched in 2005 to reduce barriers to women’s progression, it now addresses gender equality as a much broader issue. The University has been a Bronze Award holder since 2012 and many of our Schools and Departments also hold Departmental Awards.
- Adopting robust, transparent and accountable processes for gender equality work, including:
- Embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/institute/department accountable
- Undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes to direct our priorities and interventions for gender equality, and evaluating our progress to inform our continuous development
- Ensuring that gender equality work is distributed appropriately, is recognised and properly rewarded.
- Addressing structural inequalities and social injustices that manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students
- Tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments for people of all genders, including not tolerating gender-based violence, discrimination, bullying, harassment or exploitation
- Understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities
- Fostering collective understanding that individuals have the right to determine their own gender identity, and tackling the specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people because of their identity
- Examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice and career opportunities of any identified under-valued and at-risk groups
- Mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks, and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’
- Mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.
We have a comprehensive set of actions to implement across the University.
- Executive Board overseeing the implementation of Action Plan
- Creation of Athena Swan Implementation Team
- Reporting progress to the Executive Board, University Council and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Forum
- Regularly reviewing and renewing membership of the Athena Swan Implementation Team
- Supporting Schools and Departments to apply for Athena Swan awards
- Assessing progress against Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Key Performance Indicators
- Reviewing EDI Committee structure and effectiveness.
- Encouraging staff engagement with Staff Surveys
- Analyse data and free text comments from the Staff Culture Survey
- Use survey outcomes to set up Focus/Working Groups.
- Introduce target numbers for applications and shortlists from under-represented groups
- Pilot the use of anonymised recruitment procedures
- Improve the take-up, and assess the effectiveness of inductions
- Continue to review all staff on fixed-term teaching-only and teaching and research contracts and move these colleagues on to permanent contracts
- Ensure that all leavers have the opportunity to complete an online questionnaire and to have a face-to-face exit interview.
- Review and continue to refine the appraisal process for all academic staff
- Improve the awareness and uptake of career development opportunities by early career researchers
- Actively monitor and encourage applications for Principal Research Fellow and Principal Teaching Fellow
- Increase confidence in the promotion process
- Improve the number of applications for promotion from women on the academic career pathways
- Improve the career development and promotion pathway for Professional and Support Service (PASS) Staff
- Introduce appraisal targets for Faculty Executive Deans relating to EDI initiatives with specific reference to gender equality.
- Continue to monitor and provide funds to eliminate the pay gap at all grades for both academic and PASS staff
- Embed the use of the Maternity Leave/Shared Parental Leave planning document
- Promote and monitor the uptake of Paternity and Shared Parental Leave
- Update all HR policies to ensure that the wording is gender-neutral
- Improve flexible working arrangements for academic and PASS staff
- Develop and implement a Career Break Policy
- Relaunch Travel Fellowships as Vice-Chancellor’s Inclusion and Career Investment Awards
- Improve EDI Training for Heads of Department
- Pilot and develop a Report a Problem (Report and Support) function
- Develop career opportunities for senior women
- Implement the academic Workload Planning Model
- Consistent adoption of core hours (10-4)
- Increase awareness of what is required to support the Trans community at Surrey.
- Prioritise the promotion of Athena Swan and related activities via web-based activities
- Prioritise the promotion of Athena Swan and related activities via events
- Continue to audit imagery in all hard copy and electronic publicity material
- Ensure that key events in the University calendar have an appropriate gender balance of speakers/key participants.
In committing to the principles of the Athena Swan Charter, we recognise that we join a global community with a shared goal of addressing gender inequalities and embedding inclusive cultures.
We have a zero-tolerance policy towards abuse, bullying, harassment, hate crime and sexual misconduct. All staff, students and visitors to campus can report a sexually motivated incident anonymously or with their contact details through our report and support service. Anonymous or identifiable reports can be submitted as a sexually motivated incident and we strongly encourage the use of this tool for anyone who may need it.
At Surrey, we understand that individuals have the right to determine their own gender identity. That is why we consider it vital to help those facing specific issues relating to their identity. For more information on how we support trans and non-binary staff and students, please refer to our Trans and Gender Identity Policy (pdf).