The Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) 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. The charter recognises the work that Institutions do to address gender equality in relation to representation, student progression into academia, staff career progression and the working environment.
The Charter is awarded at both institutional and department level through Bronze, Silver or Gold awards. In May 2017 Leeds Beckett was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze charter from the Equality Challenge Unit.
The importance of our award
The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:
- The relative under representation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
- The particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)
4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.
8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.
This toolkit provides some top-level information about the Athena SWAN charter and local advice and context to support School based applications. The University’s Equality and Diversity Team can provide further assistance on request.
A data explorer has been developed to provide information on undergraduate and postgraduate profiles and numbers at School and course level.
Maternity and Adoption Leave
Our University’s Maternity and Adoption policies provide eligible colleagues with statutory and additional contractual benefits. Women who meet this qualifying criterion are entitled to take up to a maximum of 63 weeks maternity leave. Colleagues who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to occupational maternity/adoption pay. For further information, please refer to our HR Policies and Procedures A-Z.
Shared Parental Leave
The purpose of shared parental leave is to enable parents to share maternity or adoption leave in the year after their child’s birth or placement for adoption, giving families more choice and flexibility over their childcare. Parents can choose to take shared parental leave separately or at the same time and the leave can be taken as one continuous period, or may be taken in smaller blocks of leave, interspersed with time at work. Colleagues who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to occupational shared parental pay. For further information, please refer to our HR Policies and Procedures A-Z.
Eligible colleagues may take up to a maximum of two weeks paternity/partner leave with full pay. For further information, please refer to our Paternity/Partner Leave Policy.
Time off for Public Duties and Special Leave
There is provision to request paid time off for a range of public duties and special circumstances including dependants leave.
Our Flexible Working policy sets out colleagues’ statutory rights in relation to requesting flexible working. Flexible working describes a type of working arrangement which gives some degree of flexibility on how long, where and when colleagues work. The flexibility can be in terms of working time, working location or the pattern of working. For further information, please refer to our Flexible Working Policy.
Our Childcare Voucher scheme is available to colleagues. Childcare vouchers are a government initiative to help working parents pay for registered childcare. The vouchers are taken from your salary before your tax and National Insurance deductions, therefore offering a financial saving.
For further information, please refer to our Childcare Vouchers webpage.
We support female colleagues to access Advance HE's Aurora Programme. Applicants are sought on an annual basis. For further information, which includes the nomination process, see our Leadership Programme Guide.
Advance HE has published a report tracking the careers and aspirations of women working in higher education which reveals important evidence of the appetite for leadership and support available to women in the sector.
Using data from over 1,500 women from across the UK and Ireland, the report offers an unparalleled opportunity to understand perceptions and lived experience of leadership for women in the sector.
Part of a longer five year study, Onwards and Upwards, the first year report outlines the positive impact of the role of senior leaders on the happiness and wellbeing of women.
Equal Pay Policy
Our University supports the principle of equal opportunities in respect of the principles of equality and the management of diversity in employment. We believe that all staff should receive equal pay for the same or broadly similar work, for work rated as equivalent and for work of equal value.
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Gender Pay Gap Report
From 2017, all employers with 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap, which is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings.
For further information and to view our report, please click here.
News and Blog Posts
The WomenCount: Leaders in Higher Education 2018 reports on the representation of women in key leadership roles across 173 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK. It is part of a series of reports that benchmark the participation of women as governing body members, Chairs and Vice-Chancellors in the sector as a whole and by individual HEI. Read the full report here.
Local Leeds school boys had a hands-on introduction to health sciences at Leeds Beckett University as they attended the first annual Boys into Health day. Read more here.
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Changing our schools from the inside out; Is this what we mean by Collaborative Professionalism?
Join us at this breakfast lecture, sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, where Will will explore the global economy, as well as trends closer to home, including the UK economy ahead of the country’s departure from the EU.
Centre for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Education
Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Children in Education’ Conference
Eating Disorders for Dietitians
A 4 day course for dietitians wanting to learn more about eating disorders.
Queer Beyond London: Culture, Place and Home in Four English Cities since the 1960s
This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Another event is currently being arranged to take place in February as part of the Leeds Cultural Conversations and will be announced shortly.
Devilish and Debonair: Devilish and Debonair: The Wildean Dandy and the Long Life of a Gay Stereotype
The fifth event in the Leeds Cultural Conversations series 2018/19.