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Athena SWAN silver logo

The Nuffield Department of Population Health has successfully renewed its Athena SWAN Silver Award.

The award recognises the advancement of gender equality in accordance with Advance HE’s Athena SWAN charter. Established in 2005 to encourage commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM), the charter now acknowledges work undertaken to address gender inequality more broadly. It focusses on upholding 10 key principles which include addressing the loss of women from the career pipeline and tackling the gender pay gap.

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, said ‘We are committed to improving the working environment for everyone and are delighted that our work to advance gender equality has been recognised through renewal of our Silver Award. The improvements that we have made, and the successful renewal, are the result of department-wide efforts to ensure that all staff and students are able to fulfil their potential.’

Since the Department’s last Athena SWAN Silver Award application, a number of initiatives have been introduced to ensure continued support for staff and students at all stages of their careers. These include:

  • generating evidence about the demand for childcare provision on the Old Road Campus, supporting the provision of an extra 100 nursery places;
  • introducing the first part-time DPhil in Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division to help those with caring responsibilities to further their careers;
  • providing Departmental funding to support career development through fellowships and pump-priming grants;
  • moving staff from fixed-term to open-ended contracts where appropriate;
  • introducing an Early Career Researchers’ Network and departmental mentoring scheme;
  • offering more opportunities for staff to take part in outreach activities.

Dr Sarah Wordsworth, Athena SWAN co-academic lead, added ‘The Athena SWAN process provides us with a framework to reflect on and celebrate current practices and to develop actions for the future. We have exceeded benchmarks for the numbers of female professors and the gender pay gap and have introduced initiatives that support staff and students throughout their careers. However, we must not get complacent with our achievements to date, and instead work hard to further improve our working environment over the coming years.’

During the last application round, 47 submissions for Silver Awards were received; 19 (40%) were awarded. James Greenwood-Lush, Head of Athena SWAN at Advance HE, said ‘Achieving an Athena SWAN award shows a real commitment to advancing gender equality and I have enjoyed reading many of the applications received in the most recent round. We are seeing a real step-change in the ambition and innovation of initiatives that institutions are implementing. It is clear that the sector has come a long way.’