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The University of Southampton
Equality, Diversity and InclusionMeasuring EDI

Athena Swan at Southampton

Athena Swan Silver Award
We're an Athena Swan Silver award holder (since 2016)

The University of Southampton is a founding signatory of the Athena Swan gender equality charter and holds an institutional Silver award. As a signatory, we recognise the specific challenges that affect men and women in academic careers, which leads to fewer women at senior levels of higher education. We are committed to addressing these issues, to maximise the potential of all our people.

The charter was founded with six principles in 2005, focused on the specific issues preventing women academics progressing in STEMM careers. These were revised in May 2015 to recognise the barriers in other disciplines - including those for men, trans people and the impact of race.

We signed up to these principles in January 2016, demonstrating our commitment to addressing them.

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What does this mean for me?

As part of its submission for an Athena Swan award, the University developed an action plan for addressing known gender equality issues. This first occurred in 2006 and has been regularly reviewed and updated with each renewal submission.

The development of comprehensive action plans, with responsibility shared across the University, will mean a coordinated approach to addressing issues such as planning maternity leave (particularly for postgraduate researchers), seeking promotion, gaining a permanent academic position, improving working flexibility and wider provision and support for childcare. There are many areas of good practice across the University, which we hope to share more widely , such as mentoring relationships; women's support networks; core-hours policies for meetings and seminars; access to equality & diversity; training and more.

How many awards does the University hold?

The University was awarded Silver in October 2016, following ten years of work at bronze-level. Our institutional award is complimented by departmental awards, held by faculties and schools. Departmental awards recognise their work to implement our policies and widen awareness of gender equality in their local area. For some faculties, this could potentially be linked to research funding too.

Our departmental awards

Award levelFaculty/SchoolLead contact(s)
Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law (AHSSBL)
 Bronze  School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences Dr Jana Sadeh
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM)
Silver School of Biological Sciences Dr Salah Elias
School of Chemistry Dr Lynda Brown
Faculty of Medicine Professor Roxana Carare
Professor Paul Elkington
School of Physics and Astronomy Dr Andy O'Bannon
Bronze School of Electronics and Computer Science Dr Reena Pau
Professor Chris Freeman
School of Engineering Dr Jennifer Muggleton
Professor David Richards
School of Geography and Environmental Science Dr Andrew Power
School of Health Sciences Dr Michelle Myall
School of Mathematical Science Dr Helen Ogden
Professor Giampaolo D'Alessandro
School of Ocean and Earth Science Dr Clive Trueman
Zepler Institute Professor Kevin MacDonald

What is a departmental award?

Most of our Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) faculties or schools have at least a Bronze Athena Swan award, while our Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law (AHSSBL) schools are in the process of forming self-assessment teams to submit for an award. You can follow the links below to learn more about Athena Swan work in each faculty or academic unit, or speak to the person leading that activity.

What is a self-assessment team (SAT)?

The University, and each faculty and school that applies for an award, forms a self-assessment team (SAT). SATs are made up of key stakeholders across the area being assessed, to undertake the work of assessing ourselves against previous commitments, developing new action plans, and writing our submission. Each SAT will continue to meet after submission in some form to oversee delivery of the action plan, and review its impact.

How can I get involved?

We have an Athena Swan Forum with membership from each of the self-assessment teams across the University. All individuals interested in gender equality are welcome to join as well. The Forum aims to promote discussion of gender-related issues in the University, through a mailing list and regular networking meetings in the University, and to share learning between teams participating in Athena Swan. Employees from all job families and faculties are encouraged to join.

Please email if you would like to submit feedback on the submissions, gender equality in the University or join our Athena Swan Forum.

Last update: 26 February 2021 [AM]

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