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Boost for women in STEMM subjects

The University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences has been given the Athena SWAN silver award for the first time

The award is part of a prestigious national scheme to recognise commitment to advancing women’s careers in the STEMM subjects — science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

Life Sciences is the latest school to be awarded the distinction at the University, joining six other schools across three faculties. The award is only given to schools and departments which have identified challenges affecting women’s career progress, and set out clear actions to address these challenges.

Holders of the award must also show that these actions have been implemented, and show their impact.

“We are delighted to receive this award,” said Professor Ian McDonald, Head of the School of Life Sciences. “Ensuring that women at all points in their career have access to support, guidance and opportunity is key to the development of the whole school.

The School of Physics and Astronomy has seen its silver award renewed — marking out its continuing commitment to tackling gender inequality and promoting the progression of women in science.

The Athena SWAN Charter, launched in June 2005, recognises and awards commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEMM disciplines in higher education. The charter aims to ensure that women are adequately represented in traditionally male-dominated subjects. Research cannot reach its full potential without the talents of the whole population and until men and women are given equally the opportunities which arise.

The Faculty of Engineering, School of Biosciences, Division of Otorhinolaryngology, School of Pharmacy and School of Psychology also hold silver Athena Swan awards. The bronze award is held by the School of Community Health Sciences, School of Computer Sciences, School of Geography, School of Mathematical Sciences, School of Chemistry and the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy.

The University of Nottingham also has an institutional silver award — only two other UK Universities that hold the same honour — Queen’s University Belfast and Imperial College London.