The Pirbright Institute has retained the Bronze award from the Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter for its commitment to gender equality.
The Institute has undergone significant changes in leadership and structure since it first attained a Bronze award in 2014. It was for this reason, combined with changes to the Charter itself, that it was deemed most appropriate to reapply for the Bronze award rather than try for the Silver.
Pirbright’s application included a 58-point action plan, which will see a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC), chaired by Matthew Eades (Head of HR and Corporate Development), develop key areas over the next four years. These will include our progression and promotion/reward structures, support for grant writing, women in leadership, mentoring and workload allocation and recognition.
The action plan will be reviewed continually by the Athena SWAN Working Group and in four years it is intended that the progress made will enable the Institute to apply for and achieve the Silver award.
The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in 2005 and its original aim was to aid the career advancement of women who were employed in academia, especially those focused on STEMM topics (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine). As times have changed so has the charter and Athena SWAN is now much more than just the progression of women in science. In 2015 it refocused to be more inclusive towards science, operations and both male and female staff.
Dr Lynda Moore, Head of Academic Affairs and Training said “A core team of 12 people took on the task of putting the application together for the Bronze award and my thanks go out to them for all their hard work over a long period of time. As a Working Group we also wish to thank all those who collected and produced data for the report, as well as to all who contributed important information through focus groups and questionnaires. The application and action plan is now available. It is important to note that whilst we are all really pleased to have retained the Bronze award, this is very much the starting point for the future; the Institute takes equality, diversity and inclusion very seriously and this is our chance to improve the working environment for each and every person at Pirbright.”
The Institute will receive its official award at a presentation ceremony held at the University of Glasgow in December.