Athena SWAN: EPS
The Athena Swan Charter is a vehicle that is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education. The Athena Swan Charter recognises the commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) disciplines and addressing the under-representation of women in STEMM disciplines and leadership roles. Importantly, the Charter does not just focus on barriers to progression that affect women. The Charter was launched in June 2005 and has three levels of award; Bronze, Silver and Gold. The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) at Heriot Watt University first achieved an Athena Swan Bronze award in 2015.
Attaining an Athena Swan award involves developing and delivering an Action Plan to advance gender equality. We have a self assessment team (SAT) within EPS that is responsible for; developing the action plan, discussing gender quality challenges and opportunities and evaluating the effectiveness of our actions. A principal responsibility of the SAT is to guide the School in its preparation and submission of future Athena Swan Award applications. The EPS Athena Swan SAT comprises representatives from across the School including academics, professional services (including technicians), students (PhD, BSc, MSc) and PDRAs. We arrange regular events to; celebrate the achievements of women in EPS, provide opportunities to network, discuss challenges related to gender equality and help identify future priorities.
Each year the SAT funds summer internships for female students so they can gain invaluable research experience. We provide updates on SAT activities via Newsletters, which can be downloaded below.