‌‌‌‌‌Athena SWAN in the Department of Mathematics


The Department is committed to the Athena SWAN Charter, an initiative set up to advance women's careers in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics) academia, and holds a Bronze Athena SWAN Award.The Department of Mathematics aims to provide a supportive working environment that encourages all students and members of staff to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions. We support flexible and part-time working and, where possible, arrange departmental meetings within core hours. The Department provides mentoring for new staff and post-docs and monitors individuals' career progression, aiming to identify and encourage promotion candidates.

This fits perfectly with our own practice: in our department, Athena SWAN matters are handled by our Equalities and Good Practice Committee, whose remit is to consider all equality- and diversity-related matters, whether of gender, religion, culture, language or from any other source.

From May 2015, the Athena SWAN expanded work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. The Charter now covers professional and support staff as well as staff in academic roles and addresses gender-related issues of both women and men, including trans staff and students. The Equality Challenge Unit provides further information.

Head of Department's view

Professor Niall MacKay, Head of Department, says, "The department is absolutely committed to the Athena SWAN charter. Focussing on one issue, we note that supporting (especially young) academics to reach their full career potential requires a flexible, supportive and collegial environment, above all through periods of two-body problems or caring commitments. The department has, I believe, an exemplary record of making special arrangements to accommodate such matters. My goal is to build a departmental culture of collegiality, support and encouragement, in which mutual confidence and aid, combined with the valuing of individual perspectives, enable people to do their best possible work. Building a department in which everyone can give their best, on timescales on which academic careers, groups and departments thrive, is in everyone’s interests."