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Brunel recognised with renewed Athena SWAN Bronze Award

athena Bronze 920

Brunel University London has retained its Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of its commitment to gender equality.

The Athena SWAN is a national scheme run by the higher education improvement charity Advance HE that aims to address gender equality while honouring institutions that are actively closing the inequality gap.

Universities can apply for institutional and departmental awards to recognise their gender equality efforts, and this renewed Athena SWAN Bronze Award is an institutional award.

In 2017, Brunel received the institutional-level Bronze Award for the second time, and all awards are now valid for five years.

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                 The renewed Athena SWAN Bronze Award

The Athena SWAN charter was established in 2005 and initially focused on addressing inequality within higher education and research. However, it is now being used across the world to address gender equality more broadly.

In 2021, Athena SWAN launched a new, transformed UK charter, which enhanced the framework and updated the criteria that applicants have to fulfil.

The self-assessment application process was streamlined, and applicants are now able to focus on their key priorities.

Prof Geoffrey Rodgers, Brunel’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Employment, chaired the self-assessment team that developed and wrote the renewal application for the award.

“Equality, diversity, and inclusion – EDI - is an intrinsic part of Brunel’s mission, and in 2021 we developed and launched our new EDI strategy, adopting a whole-university approach to making Brunel a fairer and more inclusive place,” said Prof Rodgers.

“We have actively sought to create an even balance between male and female colleagues, and over the last few years some of our female academics have been nationally recognised.

“We have worked hard to retain our Athena Swan Bronze Award, and our renewed recognition is an achievement that everyone at Brunel should be proud of.”

Brunel’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Prof Andrew Jones, wrote a letter of support for the renewal and is pleased with the renewed recognition: “I am impressed with the progress Brunel has made since its last application, and particularly with the improvements in the promotions’ outcomes, the work being done to address the gender pay gap, and our implementation of flexible working practices,” said Prof Jones.

“This institutional award joins our various departmental awards, including a Silver Award recently gained by the Department of Life Sciences.

“If we are to aim for a Silver Award at our next renewal, we need to use the action plans to harness the capabilities and enthusiasm of our staff to deliver the goals in our EDI strategy.”