The UK’s 2010 Equality Act provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for everyone. It merged various existing pieces of legislation, including the Equal Pay Act (1970), the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), and several acts relating to Employment Equality. As a public sector organisation, we at the University of Manchester have the responsibility to ensure these are properly followed, as well as take action to promote and support the advancement of gender equality. One way we do this is with the Athena SWAN Charter.
The Equality and Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The Faculty is home to two of the patrons of the Athena SWAN Charter. These are Professor Helen Beebee, Samuel Hall Professor of Philosophy in the School of Social Sciences and Professor Sir Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology in the Alliance Manchester Business School.
In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
The Faculty’s Schools are committed to putting in place measures in order to preparing applications for Athena SWAN Bronze awards for submission in November 2016.