Athena SWAN

The School of Media, Communication and Sociology is committed to providing a good working environment for its staff and is working towards applying for an Athena SWAN award.

What is Athena Swan?

The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in June 2005 and started as a commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education. The Charter. Has since been expanded to advance and promote of the careers of women in all sectors of higher education and research.

Find out more about Athena SWAN at the University of Leicester 

Why Athena Swan is important?

Women are under-represented in Higher Education in senior roles. Although the deficit is greater in the sciences than in the social sciences and humanities, there are nonetheless procedures and work/life practices that continue disadvantage women in reaching their true potential in their careers. This can lead to disciplines running the risk of missing talented people it would otherwise gain and retain. We are also concerned to improve work/life balance for all our staff by changing cultures and organisation that hinder true equality in every aspect of life.

As a School, we have particular targets to:

  • Address gender inequalities requires a commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation.
  • Develop more transparent procedures and build on the strengths within the school.
  • Engage with working practices that improve work life balance for both men and women.
  • Acknowledge the absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broader implications for the organisation.
  • Encourage the promotion of all women, regardless of sexual orientation and racialised identity in Higher education
  • Acknowledge that there are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career, which require the active consideration of the organisation.

Self-Assessment Team and Network

In MCS we have received an enthusiastic response to the Athena SWAN (AS) initiative. The Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) comprises volunteers representing all groups of research and academic staff and post graduate students the department of Sociology. They draw on a range of perspectives in terms of experience, personal work-life balance, gender and career stage.

Members of the SAT in MCS

  • Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor, Lecturer
  • Jilly Kay, Lecturer,
  • Kaitlynn Mendez, Senior Lecturer
  • John Goodwin, Professor and Director of Learning and Teaching
  • María González, Full time PhD student
  • Carla Stromer, Departmental Administrator
  • Jason Hughes, Professor and Head of Department
  • Patrick White, Senior Lecturer
  • David Bartrum, Senior Lecturer
  • Ed Vollans, Teaching Fellow
  • Bernhard Forchtner, Lecturer
  • Roger Dickinson, Professor