Equality and Diversity

We are committed to promoting and nurturing an inclusive and equal culture where diverse perspectives and experiences are encouraged; where individuals are valued, respected and treated alike; where individuals of all backgrounds can come together and fully contribute their talents to our growing community. We work closely with both the MPLS Divisional and University’s Equality and Diversity units fully supporting their commitment to ‘fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.’

In 2015, in recognition of our commitment, the department attained the Athena SWAN silver award which was renewed in May 2018.

Athena SWAN, established in 2005, works in recognising the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all, encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

In 2016 the Department also attained Juno Champion status in recognition of our substantial contribution towards addressing the under-representation of women in higher education in Physics. The award recognises the demonstrable actions the Department has taken to address gender equality in physics and to encourage better practice for all staff. Becoming involved in Project Juno enables us to work towards developing an equitable working culture in which all students and staff can achieve their full potential.

The Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, we commit to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within our policies, practices, action plans and culture.

1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:

the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)

4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

Juno Champion Charter

To be recognised as a Juno Champion the Department first must demonstrate that it has embed the five Juno Principles and the key criteria in each as set out herewith:

1. A robust organisational framework to deliver equality of opportunity and reward

2. Appointment and selection processes and procedures that encourage men and women to apply for academic posts at all levels

3. Departmental structures and systems which support and encourage the career progression and promotion of all staff and enable men and women to progress and continue in their careers

4. Departmental organisation, structure, management arrangements and culture that are open, inclusive and transparent and encourage the participation of all staff

5. Flexible approaches and provisions that enable individuals, at all career and life stages, to optimise their contribution to their department, institution and to SET

6. An environment where professional conduct is embedded into departmental culture and behaviour.

View our submissions

The department's submission for 2018 can be viewed here and the 2015 submission can be viewed here.