School of Life Sciences receives Athena Swan Silver Award for Gender Equality

Published on 10 July 2023

University of Dundee School of Life Sciences was awarded an Athena Swan Silver Award under the new Athena Swan charter.

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SLS Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team leads (from left) Lesley-Anne Pearson, Melissa D’Ascenzio, and Gopal Sapkota

This is a renewal of the Silver award achieved by the School of Life Sciences previously in 2018 (and Bronze in 2014). This new Silver award recognises the many actions that were implemented by the School of Life Sciences over the past 5 years in support of gender equality, the measurable progress in gender equality resulting from those actions, and the future actions proposed to further improve gender equality over the next 5 years.

The Athena Swan Charter is used across the globe to recognise commitment to and progress in gender equality in higher education (HE) and research. Initially established in 2005 to support and encourage work in advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), it aims to address gender equality more broadly, and tackle not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The University of Dundee also recently renewed its institutional Athena Swan Bronze Award under the new charter. Reflecting on the importance that the University places on achieving positive change in gender equality across the University, every School in the University has either received or is working towards its own Athena Swan award.

The School of Life Sciences application for the Athena Swan Silver Award was driven by the School’s Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (AS-SAT), comprised of a diverse group of staff from across the School, and led jointly by Melissa D’Ascenzio, Lesley-Anne Pearson, and Gopal Sapkota. On behalf of AS-SAT, Lesley-Anne said, “We are immensely proud to have received the renewal of our Silver Award under the transformed Athena Swan charter. This recognises the important work in the School and its commitment to continue improving gender equality. The award inspires us to continue this important work over the next 5 years. We want to thank everyone who has been involved, both over the past 5 years and in the drafting of the application, from within the AS-SAT and across the School”.

Prof. Inke Näthke, Associate Dean for Professional Culture at the School of Life Sciences, added, “I am immensely proud of this award and grateful to our AS-SAT for making this achievement possible.  The School of Life Science aims for a culture that enables all to reach their full potential. That requires everyone to feel supported and recognised for their contributions. Receiving this Silver Athena Swan award is confirmation that we are continually making progress towards this goal.  With its increased focus on intersectionality, this recognition and the associated past and future actions benefit all.”

Find out more information on Athena Swan at the University of Dundee.

A version of the application, along with the action plan for the next 5 years, will be available shortly.

Story category Awards and accolades