6 October 2017 09:28

Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of its commitment to advancing the careers of women in science.

The award recognises work to improve gender equality and follows a 10-month self-assessment process that involved staff and student members from across the School.

The Athena SWAN Charter was formed in 2005 to challenge the underrepresentation and inequalities of women within science at higher education and research levels, and is a scheme that is strongly supported by Lancaster University. The University won its first Bronze Award in 2008. The University’s Bronze Award was successfully renewed in 2012 and 2015.

A four-year action plan has been drawn-up by the School to further increase equality, diversity and inclusion in recruitment, development, and retention.

Dr Yehia Elkhatib, who led the final stage of the School’s application process, said: “This substantial work came out of recognition of some of the gender equality issues we have in the School of Computing and Communications, and a sincere desire and commitment to address them. The award is an important achievement, but the real work starts now. Our focus is on seeing the action plan come to fruition, and monitoring its impact across the School in the next few years.”

Professor Adrian Friday, Head of SCC, said: “We're absolutely delighted with our Athena Swan Bronze award. We hope this sends a strong message of what we believe, which is that Computing is important for everyone’s future and is open to all. This award is an important milestone that really illustrates that we're committed to improve participation and diversity on our programmes by considering broadly and deeply what and how we teach.”

For more information about Lancaster University’s work on gender equality and the Athena SWAN awards, see http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/edi/diversity-groups/gender-equality/

The SCC Athena-Swan Self-Assessment team includes: Amy Fleming, Corina Sas, Elisavet Christou, Gillian Balderstone, Helena TendeDez, Jon Whittle, Mahmoud El-Haj, Mike Hazas, Miriam Sturdee, Nic Hart, Pete Sawyer, Stewart Kember, Sophie Beck, Steve Fish, Yehia Elkhatib.