Economics at Essex gains bronze Athena Swan Award

  • Date

    Fri 14 May 21

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Our Department of Economics is the latest department to earn an Athena Swan award, demonstrating the University’s ongoing commitment to gender equality.

Economics has been awarded a bronze Athena Swan award, which brings the total number of Essex departments with awards to 12 – the aim is for all to have at least a bronze award.

Athena Swan awards are managed by Advance HE (formerly the Equality Challenge Unit) to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education for staff and students.

Professor Kate Rockett and Professor Tim Hatton, who led the work, said: “The Athena Swan application, while a very large and demanding task to complete, was an opportunity for us to meet and work with a fantastic team, including Mohammed Alam and Melih Manyera, and to interact with our departmental colleagues about an issue that is important to us all. The institutional support and review was very helpful.

“Ensuring that equality and diversity are embedded in our procedures and everyday interactions will improve collegiality, productivity, and recruitment, contributing to our 'bottom line' along with our well-being. The agenda for action will be challenging, but with cooperation and the support of all in the department, which is fully behind the application, we expect to meet and exceed its ambitious goals.”

As part of the Athena Swan submission, departments commit to an ambitious five year action plan which ensures they are even more inclusive, respectful and fair.

Essex departments that already have bronze awards are: the Department of Government, the Department of History, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, the Department of Language and Linguistics, the Department of Mathematical Science, the Department of Sociology, Essex Business School and the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. The Department of Psychology, School of Life Sciences and School of Health and Social Care hold silver awards.

Athena Swan awards are also given at institutional level. The University currently holds a Bronze award and will be submitting an application for an Institutional Silver award in November 2022.

Vicky Beckwith and Jamais Webb-Small, Inclusion Managers in the new Inclusion team within People and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the Department of Economics, and reflects their hard work and dedication to inclusion, which has continued during these challenging times.”