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Ulster University Business School (UUBS) has secured a Bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of its commitment to advancing gender equality for staff and students across the School.

The Athena Swan Charter, run by Advance HE, is an internationally recognised gender equality framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.

This accolade recognises that, in addition to institution-wide policies, UUBS is working to promote gender equality and to identify and address challenges particular to the faculty - marking a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to foster a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment.

Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean, Ulster University Business School commented:

“At Ulster University Business School, we are highly committed to the principles that underpin the Athena Swan Charter and strive to create inclusive learning, teaching and research environments where our staff and students can reach their full potential. The Athena Swan process has provided us with an invaluable opportunity to take a step back and critically reflect on what we do well in the faculty, and bring to light the key areas we need to improve, to further embed gender equality across all levels.

“I would like to thank our colleagues Professor Joan Ballantine and Professor Sandra Moffett for their leadership and valuable support in this important area. As we embark on the next phase of this journey, we are looking forward to further embedding the Athena Swan principles into or policies and culture, building an environment where staff and students from all genders, backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicity can flourish.”

The Athena Swan application was led by a newly formed Self-Assessment Team, made up of a diverse group of staff and student representatives who each share a passion for advancing gender issues.

Professor Joan Ballantine, Chair of the Self-Assessment Team, Ulster University Business School, commented:

“Receiving this award is an incredible achievement for the Business School and carves a pathway in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion journey. As part of the application process, the Self-Assessment Team identified core areas of focus to help drive positive change.

Actions have been identified under key themes such as academic and student data, career development, flexible working, HR policies, workload allocation, role modelling and outreach activities. Actions will be addressed through an ambitious five-year action plan.”

The Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment. It is now being used across the globe to address equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

At an institutional level, Ulster University is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all staff and students.  Recognising this, Ulster University recently secured an Athena Swan Silver Award. The latest accreditation means that 12 schools at Ulster University currently hold Athena Swan awards.

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