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Equality, diversity and inclusion


The Equality Challenge Unit's (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality* more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL  
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students.

This is in relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment.

The University is a member of Athena SWAN and believes that the Charter is a useful vehicle to advance gender equality across the University’s subject disciplines and as such, the institution has signed up to the ten Athena SWAN charter principles.

As a result of Birmingham City University's commitment to eliminate gender bias and develop an inclusive culture that values all staff, the institution received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in May 2017.

* gender equality means that men and women should receive equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender.

“We remain committed to maintaining and enhancing our inclusive cultural environment for all, enabling each member of staff to achieve their maximum potential. I am honoured to be the University’s Senior Champion for Athena SWAN, as its Charter echoes the work we are already carrying out in terms of gender equality here at Birmingham City University."

Leadership and targets

The Athena SWAN process is led by the Athena SWAN Steering Committee and is currently comprised of the following key stakeholders from across the University:

• Dr Keeley Abbott (BLSS)

• Professor Julian Beer (Deputy Vice-Chancellor)

• Jane Farrow (RIE)

• Ben Goodwin (Marketing & Communications)

• Professor Diane Kemp (ADM)

• Professor Alex Kendall (HELS)

• Dr Laura Leyland (CEBE)

• Professor Maxine Lintern (BLSS, Chair)

• Amanda Owen-Meehan (ADM)

• Dr Annette Naudin (ADM)

• Tim Openshaw (PPD)

• Professor Keith Osman (RIE)

• Professor Hanifa Shah (CEBE)

• Dr Jacqueline Taylor (ADM)

• Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas (Research Fellow and Project Manager)

• Dr Kate Thomson (HELS)

• Professor Mary Traynor (ADM)

The University has a Research Fellow and Project Manager (Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas) in place for Athena SWAN initially to support the achievement of the Bronze institutional award in 2017, and now to oversee the development and implementation of a robust action plan and monitoring progress against agreed targets.

More information

Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas, Research Fellow and Project Manager
Telephone: +44 (0)121 202 8643