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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Athena Swan BronzeThe Faculty of Law is delighted to announce that it has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. The Athena SWAN Gender Charter scheme - which operates under the auspices of Advance HE, formerly the Equality Challenge Unit - was launched in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) subjects. It was expanded in 2015 to other subject areas and now recognises work that is undertaken to address both barriers to progression and gender equality matters more broadly.

In preparing its application and associated action plan, the Faculty undertook a process that involved considerable engagement - with students, academic staff and professional services staff - and self-reflection. Throughout the application process, the Faculty's Athena SWAN-related work was led by a core team consisting of Catherine Barnard, Professor of EU Law and Employment Law, Lionel Bently, Herschel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property, and Julie Boucher, Deputy Faculty Administrator for Learning & Teaching and Human Resources. Many other members of the Faculty's staff and student communities also contributed substantially to the process.

Some of the fruits of that process have already been realised, including through the introduction of a new workload allocation model within the Faculty. Further key pieces of work will now be undertaken as the Faculty's Athena SWAN action plan is implemented over the course of the coming months. In doing so, the overriding aim will be to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion related matters are fully embedded within the Faculty’s governance and decision-making processes. This will involve, among other things, the establishment within the Faculty of a new post of Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion who will lead for the Faculty on EDI-related matters and on the implementation of the action plan.

The Plan of Action requires the Faculty’s decision-making processes to be restructured so as to take account of gender more explicitly in all its activities.Catherine Barnard

Welcoming the news about the Faculty's Athena SWAN Bronze Award, Professor Catherine Barnard said: 'We are delighted to receive this award. The review exposed the distinct and sometimes very different experiences of women in the Faculty as scholars, researchers, teachers, workers and students. The Plan of Action requires the Faculty's decision-making processes to be restructured so as to take account of gender more explicitly in all its activities.'

The Chair of the Faculty of Law, Professor Mark Elliott, said: 'We look forward as a Faculty to addressing the important matters identified through this exercise. On behalf of the Faculty, I thank all colleagues and students who contributed to this very valuable process.'