Queen Margaret University applied for an Athena SWAN University Award in November 2012.

The Athena SWAN Charter is a recognition scheme for UK universities and their Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) departments. It aims to assist the recruitment, retention and progression of women in SET. Within QMU, the School of Health Sciences subject area plus Psychology were included as ‘SET’ for the application submission.

Athena SWAN Bronze university award

» QMU Application

» QMU Action Plan

Following review by the Athena SWAN assessment panel, it was announced in April 2013, that the University had been awarded an Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award.

The award was granted as Queen Margaret University had evidenced its commitment to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter and had demonstrated that it valued equality and diversity across its workforce.

The application involved an assessment of where the University is in quantitative (staff and student data) and qualitative (policies, practices, systems and arrangements) terms. We identified a three year action plan which built on the assessment and committed the resources necessary to take the plan forward and to further eliminate gender bias and create an inclusive culture.

Although Athena SWAN is focussed on the SET disciplines, the Athena SWAN programme helps to identify best practice for the working environment of all staff. The University believes that the achievement of the Bronze award will have a positive impact on both male and female careers and across disciplines not just women working in science.

To support the application, the University set up an Athena SWAN self assessment group. The Working Group comprises of the following members:

  • Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal and Chair of Athena SWAN Working Group
  • Dr Fiona Coutts, Dean of School of Health Sciences
  • Dee Denholm, Head of HR
  • Abby Moody, HR Partner and Athena SWAN Project Co-ordinator
  • Dr Jamal Mansour. Lecturer in Psychology
  • Dr Marietta Van der Linden, Senior Research Fellow, Physiotherapy
  • Dr Mary Warnock, Senior Lecturer, DNBS

The Athena SWAN working group is responsible for ensuring that the University responds to the challenges identified in the action plan and continues to work towards sustaining an equitable working environment. This will enable QMU to identify themselves as an employer of choice, not only to their staff, but to students, stakeholders, research councils and industry.