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University secures gender equality awards

The University is proud to announce the Schools of Art History, Economics and Finance, and Geography and Sustainable Development are the latest to have achieved Athena SWAN Bronze Awards.

Athena SWAN Awards recognise commitment to the advancement of gender equality in academic, professional and support roles, recognising departments and institutions taking action to identify and overcome barriers to career progression for all.

Set up by the Equality Challenge Unit (now Advance HE), Athena SWAN encourages and recognises employers’ commitment to advancing the careers of women in research and higher education. The Charter was updated in May 2015 to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. There are currently 164 Athena SWAN member organisations in the UK.

These awards bring St Andrews’ current Athena SWAN total to 16, which include one institutional Bronze, three departmental Silver, and 12 departmental Bronze awards across 19 academic Schools. The School of Earth and Environmental Science has also retained its Bronze Award.

Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity, Professor Ruth Woodfield, said: “I want to congratulate all of those involved in achieving these awards, which are great news for the University.

“These efforts are crucial to the University’s strategic ambition to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of the St Andrews experience, and we place great value on the important work that local Self-Assessment Teams do to empower staff and students.

“Our 2018 institutional Bronze Athena SWAN award created a belief in change, and I’m delighted to see the Schools of Art History, Economics and Finance, and Geography and Sustainable Development turning that optimism into a palpable shift in culture, reflected also in our School of Earth and Environmental Science who have retained their Bronze Award.”

At an institutional level, the University of St Andrews has made important progress with diversity being placed at the heart of the University’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023. Initiatives such as an in-house mentoring programme for senior academic women; gaining Carer Positive Employer status; achieving LGBT charter recognition (the first Scottish HEI to have that recognition); implementing core meeting hours; and establishing a University nursery ensure that, as an institution, the University places equality, fairness and diversity at the heart of everything.

Continued culture change is a priority for St Andrews, in order to ensure all staff and students can realise their potential.


Further details of the University’s goal to promote diversity are available in the University of St Andrews Strategy 2018-2023.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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