School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science wins Athena Swan Award

  • Date

    Wed 31 Jan 24

Academics at a Maths language course

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science has been recognised for its continued commitment to gender equality.

It is an upgrade on the Bronze award given to the school in 2018 and demonstrates the progress made over the past five years.

Head of School Professor Spyridon Vrontos said: “The Athena Swan Silver Award is a fantastic recognition of the work done across the school, and the importance placed on gender issues.

“With this award we celebrate our progress in creating a fair, balanced, and supportive environment for all our staff and students.

“The school has continually strived for gender equality, remaining committed to implementing our Bronze Action Plan, improving female recruitment, and working to identify further opportunities to improve gender issues for both our staff and our students.”

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.

Dr Jessica Claridge and Dr Stella Hadjiantoni led on the school’s application together with a team of more than 10 members of staff.

The judging panel commended the school’s success in addressing gender inequality, demonstrated by the increase in the proportion of female academic staff.

There was also praise for a number of other measures implemented, including:

  • the appointment of a Workload Officer
  • a reduction of female staff workload prior to maternity leave
  • scholarships for under-represented groups
  • the consideration of Athena Swan activities in promotion applications
  • actions taken to seek specialist guidance to improve recruitment packs

Professor Vrontos said: “We look forward to implementing our Silver Action Plan, which focusses on several future priority areas including, further support for females’ career development and staff returning from career breaks, as well as focussed training around bullying, harassment, and inappropriate behaviour. “

Essex’s Director of Inclusion, Elaine Brown, said: “I want to congratulate everyone in the school for securing this Silver Award, it is fantastic achievement. Receiving a Silver award means that the school has demonstrated the positive impact of their gender equity work.

"This also underlines the commitment and dedication across the University to improving gender equity and further underlines how these changes contribute to the University being a fairer and more equitable environment to work."