The University has been recognised with the Athena Swan Bronze award for its commitment to promoting gender equality.

The School of Engineering, Technology, and Design has also been awarded Bronze this week, acknowledging the progress that has been made in addressing the gender gap.

Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEM) employment, the Athena Swan Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. This national framework recognises and addresses unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional services within higher education (HE). The University has been an Athena SWAN Charter member since 2015.

Women at Canterbury Christ Church have been leading the way in supporting the institution’s award-winning status including accolades for Dr Anne Nortcliffe, as Executive Leader in the 2021 Engineering Talent Awards, Dr Sarah Cant, who was awarded 2022 Sage Prize for Innovation and Excellence in Sociology (jointly with LSE and the University of Manchester colleagues).

Dr Marion Stuart-Hoyle, was awarded the Association for Tourism in Higher Education 2021 award, Dr Lindsay Büster (co-author) named as Scottish Research Book of the Year 2021, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alison Honour received a prestigious international award in recognition for her pioneering leadership for the Women Economic Forum award for Women of the Decade in 2023.

Dr Amanda Maclean, Head of Inclusion, Development & Wellbeing, spoke about the importance of the Athena Swan award. She said: ‘We’ve made great progress over recent years but there’s more we need to achieve. This award recognises the incredible work many people are doing across the institution, as well as being an important driver for doing even better. Collaborative work from our amazing Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team resulted in a new, ambitious 5-year plan for making a difference to gender equity for staff and students. We’re excited about the changes ahead’.

The University’s main achievements over the past five years include:

  • 62% of our staff and 56% of our students are women
  • ‘Saluting our Sisters’ events and workshops, acknowledging and celebrating Black female role models and the vital role they play in shaping history and our communities
  • Improving the quality of equity and inclusion data to enable us to consider gender equality through an intersectional lens and deliver sustainable culture change
  • Improvement in gender balance of the University’s Governance Committees making progress in appointing women professors, doing better to ensure better gender representation at senior levels
  • Establishing a new governance structure for equity & inclusion and appointing Faculty Strategic Leads for Equity and Inclusion
  • A purposeful increase in establishing trained inclusion allies, recognising this and other equality and inclusion roles in our new Workload Allocation Model, designed to ensure a consistent application of workload tariffs
  • A continuing downward trend in both our average and median gender pay gap. We also now track race and disability pay gaps, recognising the intersectional challenges in attaining pay equality
  • The development of a range of new policies: transgender and non-binary inclusion, anti-harassment and discrimination, maternity, and menopause, together with the provision of a Report and Support tool to ensure our policies become embedded practice.

Find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University.

The University has been awarded the Athena Swan Bronze award
The University has been awarded the Athena Swan Bronze award

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