THE University of Huddersfield’s School of Computing and Engineering has been awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of its commitment to progressing gender equality within the School.

Athena SWAN recognises the work that is undertaken in the advancements of gender equality and the School of Computing and Engineering joins the School of Applied SciencesHuddersfield Business School and the University to be recognised for the Charter Award.

Originally focusing on STEM subjects, the Charter was expanded in 2015 to include areas such as arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. 

The School of Computing and Engineering is delighted to have been successful in its application for an Athena SWAN Bronze Gender Equality Award, which recognises its commitment to Advance HE’s Athena SWAN charter.

athena swan logo

Committed to equality

Professor Stephen Donnelly, Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering commented:

“We are truly committed to equality at the University of Huddersfield, and I am proud this has been recognised with an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for the School of Computing and Engineering. We are dedicated to addressing any barriers to equality and have worked hard to achieve our Athena Swan charter.

“This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of many colleagues within the School and I would like to pay a special tribute to Violeta Holmes, who was instrumental in putting together the award application, and who sadly passed away earlier this year before we had confirmation of the award.” 

Increasing gender diversity

In preparing for its Athena Swan application, the School of Computing and Engineering formed a Self-Assessment Team (SAT), led by late colleague Violeta Holmes, with members drawn from across all academic and administrative departments and the student body.  The team put together a programme of work to enable it to determine the extent to which the School met the key principles of gender equality as set out in the Athena Swan Charter.

A key part of the School’s submission involved listening to staff through conversations and a survey of their experiences with regards to a number of areas such as Leadership, Culture and Practices within the School.  From the results, teams worked to gain a deeper understanding of the issues in each area and developed a SMART Action Plan, approved by the Athena Swan Panel, to drive the School forward over the next five years of the award to address any areas of perceived inequality due to gender. Some of those actions focus around increasing gender diversity within its senior management team – particularly senior academic leadership roles, increasing the recruitment and retention of women academic staff, increasing applications from female students and improving opportunities for flexible working. 

Over the duration of the award period, the School will work hard to ensure that it continues to demonstrate an inclusive culture, explicit in its external profile, through showcasing and celebrating the achievements of female staff and students in order to attract more women from undergraduate students right through to senior leaders. 

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