15th September 2021

Bishop Grosseteste University has signed up to a charter used to transform gender equality within higher education.

The Athena Swan Charter, an international framework used to address gender equality and barriers to progression that affect women, was officially adopted by Bishop Grosseteste University – Lincoln this month.

By being part of the Athena Swan Charter, Bishop Grosseteste University is committing to adopting ten key principles within their policies, practice and culture, which promote gender equality.

Originally established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Fleming said: ‘We’ve launched the formal part of our Athena Swan journey at a time when the Charter has just been transformed. It is now more streamlined, flexible, transparent and consistent. There’s already been a lot of work to get us to this point but we still have a lot to do. The team is eager and committed; it’s an exciting time for BGU.’

The University hopes to enter an application for the Bronze Athena Swan Award in the academic year 2022-23, following a year of self-assessment.

Dr Aimee Quickfall, Head of Programmes for Primary ITE, said: ‘As chair of the BGU Athena Swan self-assessment team, I am very pleased that the project is now underway with the signing of the charter. Behind the scenes, we have been delighted with the level of response from the BGU team, with representatives from Faculty, Professional Services and the student body volunteering to be part of the self-assessment core team and a consultative group. The wealth of experience and expertise offered is fantastic, and it is clear that there is a real passion and enthusiasm for the Athena Swan project.’

The project has received strong support from Bishop Grosseteste’s Human Resources team.

‘As Director of HR I am delighted we have formally started our Athena Swan journey. Behind the scenes, the group chaired by Dr Aimee Quickfall has been working extremely hard to ensure the University is in a position to start this project. As a university we are committed to making positive changes around gender equality, committing to the Athena Swann charter is a positive step forward for BGU, ensuring we adopt key principles within our practices and culture to positively promote gender equality,’ said Jonathan Cheeseman