The Sanger Institute honoured with Athena SWAN Bronze Award
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the first six research institutes in the UK to be recognised by the Equality Challenge Unit's Athena SWAN Charter, a scheme that recognises excellence in women's employment in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
The Institute has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, the first in a three-stage process aimed at advancing women's careers. To receive this award, the Institute has acknowledged challenges holding back gender equality and has made a commitment to redress imbalance.
"Our Athena SWAN submission has been an excellent opportunity to take stock of where we are, identify areas in need of action, and formulate a strong aspirational plan for the future."
Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute
This is the first time that research institutes not part of a higher education institution have been eligible to apply. The expansion of the Athena SWAN Charter was developed following a pilot in which the Sanger Institute and five other organisations, including the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, were successful in achieving an Athena SWAN award.
"Research institutes play a substantial role in producing world-class research and helping the UK deliver global excellence. We support this expansion of the Athena SWAN Charter to research institutes as an opportunity to ensure that the potential of women throughout the workforce is retained and encouraged. Such a visible commitment to developing excellence in employment practices can only assist in keeping the UK performing on a global stage."
Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Universities and Science minister
The Sex in Science programme, a joint initiative between the Sanger Institute and EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, was established to generate discussion and raise awareness about issues traditionally facing women in science, and to drive policy and practice changes. The Sanger Institute's application to the Athena SWAN charter was made as part of this programme's objectives.
"The Athena SWAN Bronze Award recognises our on-going commitment to tackling the issues that cause women to be represented in diminishing proportions as career levels progress. Increasingly the reasons for this leaky pipeline affect men just as much as women. We are working to become a flexible and family friendly environment that enables people to balance their professional and home lives."
Professor Eleftheria Zeggini, head of the Sex in Science programme and Faculty member at the Sanger Institute