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Gender Equality at Durham University

We recognise that in some areas across the University one gender may be under-represented and we actively monitor and try to redress that equilibrium to ensure, where possible, a balanced workforce.  Our University Strategy 2017-2027 commits to increasing our female academic staff to a level that will place us in the top third of the Russell Group and we have a core Equality Objective to improve gender balance across the University.   

We appreciate that barriers can exist to the recruitment and retention of female staff, such as a lack of flexible working opportunities across all grades and levels, candidate pools not representative of the wider global community in which we work, as well as recruitment processes being potentially off-putting. Where possible, we are working to remove these and other barriers by changing the way we engage, recruit and progress staff across all areas of the University.  We are also mindful that in some areas, men are under-represented and we are actively seeking to overcome any potential impediments to achieve an overall balance across the institution.

Our gender parity initiatives include:

  • the formation of the Mothers and Mothers-to-be Support (MAMS) Network and Women in Academia Network;
  • a review all of our job roles and responsibilities, including changing titles to encourage a more diverse range of applicants and we encourage recruiting departments to consider flexible working arrangements, where they can be accommodated;
  • a review of our pay scales, as we are committed to paying a living wage to all of our staff, and we want to ensure that colleagues across the University benefit;
  • changes to the way academic staff progress from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor to Professor requiring all academic staff to be reviewed for progression annually; and
  • we are now looking at ways to reduce the gender pay gap through supporting women into more senior roles.

Athena SWAN

We are committed to the Athena SWAN Charter and hold a bronze award, which recognises our good employment practices for advancing the careers of women, and are currently working to achieve Silver. Our Institutional Athena SWAN Committee is responsible for delivering our Gender Equality Action Plan at an institutional level. It is chaired by the Associate Provost, and is accountable to the University Executive Committee through the Diversity Equality Action Group, to ensure that it delivers gender equality throughout the university, and that our people polices and working practices are bias free and fit well with our strategic aims.

Departmental Awards

We are committed to all departments at the University holding an Athena SWAN award by 2018/19. All STEMM departments in the university now hold an award. The Department of Psychology has been honoured with a renewed Silver award in April 2017 and the Department of Physics is currently applying to convert their Juno Champion award to a departmental Athena SWAN silver.

Articles in Gender Equality at Durham University

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