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Gender equality: Athena SWAN

Gender equality: Athena Swan

Gender research in Psychology

Athena SWAN

We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN silver award.

Typically, within the Higher education sector, women are underrepresented at senior levels within STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) subjects, and unfortunately Psychology is no exception.

Athena SWAN is a charter which recognises organisational good practice that contributes toward the advancement of women in STEMM.

Its founding principles are:

  • The advancement of Science, Engineering and Technology is fundamental to quality of life across the globe.
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area.
  • 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 University is a proud member of the Athena SWAN Charter and has held a Bronze institutional award since November 2011. All departments at Exeter are committed to holding an Athena SWAN award.

In Psychology, we are committed to promoting gender equality throughout the department. We believe that, in order to maximise the progression of our science, we need to harness the talent of the best and the brightest. This starts with providing equal opportunities for men and women so that our pool of talent is as inclusive as possible.

Whilst in Psychology we have a majority female student population, it is clear that there are key ‘drop off’ stages that result in women being underrepresented at more senior levels. In Psychology, more than most disciplines perhaps, the drop off in female representation is most stark.

Over the past four years we have taken a range of positive actions to improve the working environment and paths to career progression for everyone in Psychology.

Some of our key initiatives have included:

  • the introduction of deputy senior leadership positions,
  • the appointment of a Director of Post-Doctoral Research,
  • the introduction of a Promotion Roles and Committee’s (PRAC) panel to consider all staff and identify candidates for promotion and management roles within the Department.

Staff and students discuss Athena SWAN in Psychology

Working towards a career in academia

Professor Michelle Ryan

Dr Safi Darden

Dr Dale Weston

Michael Kings

Kat Steentjes