A University nursing department has been presented with an award for its commitment to the development of equality and diversity. The bronze Athena Swan award recognises the dedication of the Division of Nursing at Queen Margaret University in supporting and encouraging the development of equality and diversity amongst its staff and students.
The Athena SWAN Charter encourages commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, maths and medicine (STEMM) in UK higher education and science. More recently, the Charter expanded to recognise work in arts, humanities, social sciences and law, and in professional and support roles. It now also rewards excellent work which addresses gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
Queen Margaret University is committed to the principles of the Charter and values diversity and career opportunity across its workforce. To support these principles, and to promote the role of women in STEMM, the University undertook an internal self-assessment process and was successful in gaining a Bronze SWAN Award in 2014.
Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of the Division of Nursing at Queen Margaret University, said: “This award builds on QMU’s previous Athena Swan success in 2014, but specifically recognises our excellent work in valuing diversity and developing a person-centred culture in Nursing. We have a strategic plan in place that focusses on the on-going development of a person-centred culture, which includes the Athena SWAN principles of respect for individuality of age, gender identity, sexuality, disability, race, religion and belief.”
Professor McCormack continued: “By promoting a shared governance model of working, we encourage leadership in and ownership of all decisions, and support every team member to be represented on important university-wide committees, along with active support for academic promotion. Underpinning all of our work are explicit shared values. Staff morale and well-being are at the core of our values about good working practices. Our Athena Swan action plan is also built on these values and will help us live them and fully embed them in all that we do, as well as working towards the Athena Swan silver award.”
The University sees membership of the Charter, with its bronze, silver and gold SWAN recognition awards, as working towards sustaining equitable working environments. This enables QMU to identify themselves as employers of choice, not only to their staff, but to students, stakeholders, research councils and industry.
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