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What’s the difference between Silver and Gold award? How does it affect our department and are we applying for Silver or Gold?


Athena SWAN

What is Athena SWAN and Self-Assessment Team?

The work of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) and Better Workplace groups seeks to improve working life for all staff and students and to encourage engagement and inclusion in the department whilst taking practical steps towards the advancement of equality. The department and university are committed to the Athena Swan Charter adopting their 10 principles within policies, practices, action plans and culture.

award aspirations, Silver or Gold?

In recognition of the department's actions to support these principles, we currently hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award.  Creating a better, more inclusive and engaging workplace for all staff and students is our priority regardless of accreditation and will not stop when an award is achieved. Athena SWAN challenges our culture and processes through its requirements to scrutinise and report data and work on ambitious actions. The Self-Assessment Team believes that aspiring for a Gold award will help focus our attention and actions to be an inclusive and engaging workplace. 

next athena swan application 

Following an independent review, Advance HE (who run the Athena SWAN accreditation) have announced that, subject to the publication of an updated action plan, all current awards will be extended from four to five years. The department strives to be an inclusive and engaging workplace and the SAT believes that aspiring for Gold will help focus attention and actions to achieve this. Gold Awards are rarely given (there is one medical department in the country with a Gold award) and they require evidence of significant and sustained progression towards the principles, and demonstrable continued impact. In addition, a Gold Award calls for "Beacon Activity" which promotes good practice to the wider community within and/or beyond the University and disciplinary field. It is hoped the year extension of our Silver Award will give the department sufficient time to focus our attention and actions to drive change before submitting a Gold application in November 2021 or April 2022. The action plan is being reviewed and extended in consultation with the working groups.