We’re working hard to create an inclusive, positive and supportive environment for all our students and staff. Gender equality in the workplace and in the education we provide is critical. We’re actively finding ways to shape our policies, initiatives and future around it.
This national framework recognises and addresses unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional services within higher education (HE).
Since 2015, the University has been an Athena SWAN Charter member. We’re proud to have attained an institutional Athena SWAN Bronze Award in November 2016, in recognition of our commitment to achieving gender equality throughout the University. We will be embarking on an ambitious plan to achieve a Silver Award by 2023.
Our School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, and our School of Psychology and Life Sciences is working towards the Silver Award, both in recognition of their commitment to promoting gender equality within their schools.
We’re extremely proud to be a founder member the South East Action Leaning (SEAL) group.
The SEAL programme brings aspiring women leaders together, from universities across the South East, to build a network of peers who can support each other to succeed in their career aspirations.
It supports women to find their voice, to be ambitious in progressing their careers and to use the wisdom of others to find their own.
Women across our University are doing amazing things every day. From researching venom for cancer treatments, using chemistry to uncover hidden fingerprints, mammal embryology, biofuels, sustainable solutions, cyber security and advanced manufacturing with lasers. Nearly 50% of academic staff in the School of Psychology and Life Sciences is female, and nearly 40% is female in the School of Engineering, Technology and Design.
Pioneering work to create gender equality in science, technology and engineering education and careers is at the heart of recent, major investments at the University. Our £65m STEM building in Canterbury, which opened in 2021, is named after Verena Holmes, an early female mechanical engineer instrumental in promoting gender equality.
Our new School of Engineering, Technology and Design and our Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, heavily promotes women in engineering with the aim of creating a sustainable and diverse regional talent pool of graduates, including 30 to 35% women graduates by 2024 in order to challenge engineering inequalities in the UK.
Our Women’s Staff Network started in March 2014. Since then, the network has supported women across the University and actively works to address gender equality issues.
The Women’s Staff Network plays an important role in shaping university policy and raising awareness.
In 2021, we became an institutional member of Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN). Our staff can now sign up for free to obtain their individual membership to WHEN.
The Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN) amplifies the voices of everyone at the University who champions and supports the development of women in the Higher Education sector.
To improve the work-life balance of employees, the University has a number of family-friendly policies that aim to make working here as straightforward as possible for those with caring responsibilities.
We also offer enhanced occupational pay on our Maternity, Paternity/Partner, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave. The University offers flexible working arrangements, family-friendly facilities and wellbeing support for families and carers.
We’re actively finding ways to shape our policies, initiatives and future around gender equality. International Women’s Day is one way that our community celebrates the historical, cultural and political achievements of women in our community and beyond.