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The University of Southampton
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

National recognition for University of Southampton’s advancement of academic women’s careers

Published: 6 October 2016
Athena SWAN Silver Award
Southampton is one of ten universities with an institutional silver Athena SWAN award

The University of Southampton has earned a silver-level Athena SWAN award in recognition of its continued efforts to improve fairness and equality for women in academic careers.


We join a distinguished group of ten universities whose gender equality work has been recognised by a silver-level award. Our submission was built on the success of our nine departmental awards – including silver-level awards for Medicine and Chemistry – as well as institutional projects like promotions workshops, Springboard and the Reward Project.

Furthermore, Engineering and the Environment were successful in renewing their bronze-level award using the updated application process launched by Athena SWAN in May 2015. Their submission highlighted achievements in attracting more female students to their undergraduate programmes, promoting more women to senior academic levels and improving communication across the Faculty.

President and Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowdon said, “I am absolutely delighted – this is an excellent achievement reflecting a lot of dedicated effort. We have made significant steps towards gender equality at all levels and I am totally committed to making sure we build on the progress we have made.”

Professor Iain Cameron, Chair of the University Athena SWAN Committee and Dean of Medicine, said, “I'm delighted that the University has received an institutional Athena SWAN silver-level award. This award recognises the significant commitment and contribution of many colleagues across the faculties and Professional Services. Thank you and congratulations to all involved - we can be proud of our achievements in enhancing gender balance and supporting better career opportunities.”

Some of the key achievements we highlighted in our application include:

  • Our nine departmental Athena SWAN awards and six further faculties/academic units working towards their first award this year
  • Gender parity in application rates for academic promotions
  • No significant in-grade gender pay gaps at Levels 1a to 6, and a reduction in the Level 7 gender pay gap from 7.7% to 4.3% since 2012.
  • The roll-out of equality and diversity training for all staff
  • Re-alignment of the academic career pathways and changes to our appraisal and promotions frameworks to recognise all contributions more fairly
  • A new structure for embedding equality, diversity and inclusion activities at faculty and institution levels

The University of Southampton is a founding signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter. We last renewed our Athena SWAN award at bronze-level in 2012. The awards recognise the University’s efforts to build a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and its work towards the development of an inclusive culture. These new awards for Southampton join previous departments recognised by Athena SWAN including Electronics and Computer Science and Ocean & Earth Science.

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