The Athena Swan Charter is a framework that is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.  

Since 2011 the Department of Statistics has held an Athena Swan Bronze Award for our work in addressing the issue of gender equality in Statistics and its working environment. This year, the Department has been awarded Silver, reflecting the collective efforts made over the intervening years to work towards greater gender and intersectional equality. 

Key areas of progress and action since 2016

  • 42% of undergraduate students were women in 2022, compared with 31% in 2017 (HESA 2019-2021 benchmark 37%). 

  • Introduced Florence Nightingale Bicentenary Fellowships to support career progression of academic staff. 

  • Launched The Network, a group to support early-career research (ECR) staff and introduced a dedicated ECR Champion. 

  • Created the Department of Statistics Summer Research Internships for undergraduate mathematics and statistics students to complement and enhance the University’s UNIQ+ scheme. 

  • Improved departmental communication and governance. 

I am so pleased that our progress in making the Department a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment has been recognised by the Athena Swan programme. We weathered the COVID-19 pandemic by prioritising health and wellbeing, developing new teaching methods and approaching challenges collectively. Going forward we will retain our commitment to a collective growth mindset and co-development of best practice.

Professor Christl Donnelly, Head of Department

Future plans

Our plans between now and 2028 focus on: 

  • Addressing the workload and wellbeing of staff. 

  • Improving representation among academic and research staff. 

  • Tackling the degree-awarding gap. 

Our Athena Swan Silver submission and five-year action plan will be made available on the website in due course. Read more about our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work. 

We are delighted at this recognition of the progress we have made in the Department to ensure it is a welcoming and inclusive place to work and study. As we go into the next five years, we have a strong foundation upon which to build as we continue to address challenging issues within equality and equity in our sector.

Mareli Grady and Garrett M. Morris, Co-Chairs of the Department’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Athena Swan Leads

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