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Athena SWAN

Coventry University is proud to have been granted the Bronze Athena SWAN Award (for 2016 - 27).

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Since 2005 it has been used to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women. The Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Athena SWAN Bronze Award logo

Coventry University has held an institutional level bronze award from Athena SWAN since 2016. We are proud to have signed up to the new Athena SWAN Charter Principles and to have had our award reaccredited until 2027.

Since the university’s last accreditation in 2016, our Academic Progression Framework has helped drive a steady rise in the percentage of grade 9 and 10 roles held by women across the Group and has seen the total number of applications from women for career advancement opportunities increase by more than 350 per cent.

Our 2030 Group Strategy includes a series of new institutional level ‘enabling KPIs’, recognising diversity as valuable, enriching and key to growth and success. The KPIs track the composition of new senior appointments, all new starters and internal promotions.

Athena Swan Action Plan 2021 - 2027

The key priority areas in the Athena Swan action team’s plan up to 2027 include:

  • Gender Pay Gap
  • Talent Management
  • Employee Experience

In addition to the university’s institutional Athena SWAN bronze award, the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations holds a departmental Bronze Award. The university is committed to increasing its departmental awards and a mapping exercise has been undertaken by the action team to identify departments that can work towards a bronze accreditation.

Jenna Ward

We are proud of the progress we have made on our journey towards gender equality and inclusivity. There continues to be lots to learn, projects to undertake and transformative change to deliver but I would like to thank all colleagues who contributed to our successes and the submission of the renewal application.

As we look ahead to 2027, we will be focusing on culture change, employee experience and the gender pay gap.

Professor Jenna Ward, Dean of the College of Business and Law and Chair of ASAT, Coventry University

An integral part of the Athena SWAN application process is for the University to critically analyse its own gender equality landscape and to build and commit to a four-year action plan for delivering further progress. You can download the full submission which includes the action plan.

The work is developed and overseen by the Athena SWAN Action Team (ASAT) which is comprised of academic and professional services staff from across the University.

Athena SWAN is an Advanced HE Charter, which requires Vice-Chancellors to commit to the following Charter Principles:

  1. adopting robust, transparent and accountable processes for gender equality work, including:a. embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/institute/department accountable. b. undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes to direct our priorities and interventions for gender equality, and evaluating our progress to inform our continuous development. c. ensuring that gender equality work is distributed appropriately, is recognised and properly rewarded.
  2. addressing structural inequalities and social injustices that manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students.
  3. tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments, including not tolerating gender-based violence, discrimination, bullying, harassment or exploitation.
  4. understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities.
  5. recognising that individuals can determine their own gender identity, and tackling the specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people.
  6. examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice and career opportunities of any identified under-valued and at-risk groups.
  7. mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks, and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’.
  8. mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.

You can find Coventry University’s Charter Commitment letter here.

Athena Charter dinner attendees.png

Athena Charter dinner attendees at the Advance HE EDI conference to celebrate all those awarded with a charter mark since 2019 - including Coventry University members.

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