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News article

University recognised for significant steps towards gender equality

Published: 08 March 2022

  •   Awards
  •    Staff
  •    Vice Chancellor

The Athena Swan Charter encourages and recognises commitment to advancing gender equality.

York St John has a proud history in the fight for gender equality. The University opened teacher training for women in 1846 at a time when the majority of teacher education providers only educated men. Since then, widening access and participation in higher education has been core to the University’s values.  

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

In adopting the Athena Swan Charter, York St John University has developed an action plan to embed gender equality actions within our policies, practices, and culture.  The action plan is ambitious and uses the Athena Swan Charter process as an important framework for change. This includes overt actions such as supporting women leadership programmes, as well as addressing hidden inequalities. The recent introduction of the Voluntary Living Wage for example, is most likely to benefit women in part-time roles.                                                                                                                                    

York St John University Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Bryan said of the achievement: 

Our commitment to gender equality is ongoing and we know that whilst we have made very positive strides in this area, we still have work to do in other areas.  This award recognises that we are on the right track to continue removing the barriers to progression that affect women. A rigourous submission process was undertaken by colleagues on the Self-Assessment Team and I thank them for their hard work and dedication to achieve this award.”  

The University’s Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team consists of academics, professional and support staff and students and it has representation from both women and men. Chaired by Professor Susan Orr, Pro Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, the team will continue to track and implement the University’s work towards gender equality.  

For more information on the charter, please visit the Athena Swan and Advance HE website. 

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