UCL School of Management wins major award for gender diversity, the ‘Athena SWAN award’

UCL School of Management has been awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award from the UK Equality Challenge Unit in recognition of their commitment to improve gender equality and representation among their staff and students.

The Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Charter is a framework which is used across UK to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter was originally aimed to increase the representation of women at all levels in STEMM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). In 2015, the Charter was expanded to include the fields of Business and Social Sciences and to address gender equality issues among all staff and students.

The success rate for business schools, is low – roughly 30% in most recent years. Being one of the few business schools to receive the Bronze Award demonstrates that the UCL School of Management has begun to implement strong evidence-based action plans to improve gender equality for example women’s underrepresentation in senior positions and to encourage more inclusive culture.

According to Dr. Bert De Reyck,

Prior to and throughout our Athena SWAN application process, we have been working to make diversity and inclusion a fundamental part of the school’s ethos and culture. For example, we have increased the representation of women in senior positions. Last year, we set up a dedicated EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) team, which is now working on removing antisocial behaviors as well as monitoring broader diversity issues across the school. From 2019, in recruitment advertisements, we have highlighted our devotion as an Equal Opportunities Employer.

The dedication of our Athena SWAN team, led by Dr. Sunny Lee, with members lending their time and expertise has been paramount in our receiving the first Bronze Award.

Ultimately, we must thank our staff and members as without their support with our application, this achievement would not have been possible. We have received invaluable feedback from our staff and students (through surveys, interviews, and emails) and will work hard to address the identified issues about diversity and inclusion over the next few years.”