Athena SWAN

In April 2014, we became one of the first research institutes to achieve the Athena SWAN Bronze award.

The Institute values the diversity of its employees, students, visiting scientists and collaborators and is committed to providing equality of opportunity. The diversity of our workforce is of critical importance in drawing together the talent, skills and experience on which we depend to conduct world-class science and support biomedical discovery. We are strongly committed to the Athena SWAN scheme to promote women's careers in science and to progressing gender equality.

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Athena SWAN at the Sanger Institute

Athena SWAN is a Charter to advance women's careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine). Its Bronze, Silver and Gold awards celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in those subject areas within higher education and research. Until 2014, Athena SWAN awards were only available to University departments and institutions.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the first research institutes outside of the University sector to join the Charter and receive an Athena SWAN Bronze award.

" 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

Athena SWAN Action Plan.

To ensure the Institute progresses its Athena SWAN Action Plan, we have set up a Self-Assessment Team composed of staff members at all levels - from PhD and postdoc level to Faculty and members of the Board of Management, including the Director. This team reports progress made against the Action Plan on a six-monthly basis to the Board of Management.

In addition, the 'Sex in Science' programme, run jointly with our campus neighbour EMBL-EBI, aims to generate discussion and awareness about issues facing women (and increasingly men) in science and to drive changes in policy and practice to address them.

Linked to this, we are adapting our scientific career models and recruitment processes, raising the profile of mentoring and running regular events, including careers days. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and family-friendly environment and have in place a range of policies and benefits to enable people to balance their professional and home lives.

Athena SWAN Charter

The key beliefs underpinning the Athena SWAN Charter are that:

  1. the advancement of science, engineering and technology (SET) is fundamental to quality of life across the globe
  2. it is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area
  3. science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

The scheme is managed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), and is funded by ECU, the Research Councils UK (RCUK), the Royal Society, the Biochemical Society and the Department of Health.

* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/hn2bh27u