Students Staff

04 September 2014

Essex at the forefront of promoting gender equality

Man and woman undertaking humanities research

Essex has won an award for advancing gender equality

Essex has been recognised for its commitment to equality, becoming one of just five universities to receive a new award for advancing gender equality in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The University received the Equality Challenge Unit’s Bronze Institution Award in its trial Gender Equality Charter Mark scheme(GEM), the first award scheme of its kind for these disciplines.

It follows Essex's success a year ago in achieving an Athena SWAN Bronze Institution award, which recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in science.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “This award, combined with our Athena SWAN award last year, puts Essex at the forefront of gender equality progress across all subject areas.

“It proves our real commitment to equality for our entire University community, and I’m thrilled to receive this recognition. It is an important step, and we will now be working hard to ensure we are doing all we can to provide a fair and open environment.”

The Gender Equality Charter Mark in the arts, humanities and social sciences is based on the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, but its remit is wider, focusing on the underrepresentation of women in senior roles, and also the underrepresentation of men in particular subject areas and roles. Its scope covers both academic and professional services staff and students in UK universities, and it also seeks to address the unfair treatment often experienced by transgender people.

The award, judged by a panel of experts, recognises Essex’s progress in identifying equality issues, and its commitment to making further improvements and building a culture that will improve the representation, progression and success of both staff and students.

Following the success of the trial, the charter mark scheme will now be opened up to all higher education institutions, and individual arts, humanities and social science departments in 2015.

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