University of Exeter: University of Exeter Business School receives gender equality award

The award, conferred by the educational charity Advance HE, reflects the Business School’s success in achieving greater representation of women among its staff and students, and in addressing the barriers to progression that disproportionately affect women.

The number of Business School female staff members at the level of professor has increased by just over 50% since 2016, including in leadership roles.

And this year a Chief Diversity Officer was appointed to lead on building the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) agenda.

The School’s commitment to improving gender equality is also reflected in the student body, where action has been taken to increase the visibility of female role models and review the curriculum to address gender imbalance.

Professor David Bruce Allen, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the University of Exeter Business School, spoke of his pride at the award and thanked the efforts of staff and students who conducted the rigorous self-assessment process.

He said: “We are immensely proud that the Business School has taken this important step towards advancing gender equality. It is our aim to be viewed as a safe and welcoming space by all our students, and to be an inclusive workplace for staff.

“There is, of course, still work to be done, and we have put in place an ambitious action plan to ensure we keep improving female representation in our staff and student body and embed principles of gender equality and fairness in the Business School’s day-to-day governance.”

Professor Alexandra Gerbasi, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor and Deputy Dean of the University of Exeter Business School, added: “The Business School is committed to creating and developing leaders for a better world – a world in which women, as well as members of other underrepresented groups, can benefit equally from all the opportunities it affords.”

The Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Charter was established in 2005 as a global framework to encourage and recognise the commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

The Charter is now used to address gender equality more broadly, and in 2015 was expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law departments, as well as professional and support roles.

The University of Exeter currently holds an institutional Athena SWAN Silver award with all STEMM departments holding awards at Bronze or Silver level.