Athena SWAN Silver Award for the School of Dentistry

The School of Dentistry has been recognised for its efforts to promote equality and inclusivity.


The School has received the prestigious Athena SWAN Silver award from the Equality Challenge Unit, the national body that promotes equality in the higher education sector.

The award reflects the progress that the School has made in ensuring that its policies and processes underpin a supportive and inclusive environment for staff and students.  It has been received just two years after the School achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze award.

The award submission was led by the School Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) of staff and students who were involved in designing a range of initiatives to improve gender equality and inclusion.

The School used various and novel consultation models to involve staff and students in the decision-making process and the value of their work was effectively measured to demonstrate impact. The School has invested great energy and commitment.  Initiatives include:

  • Providing regular promotions workshops and appointing promotions advisors, resulting in more successful promotion applications
  • Supporting and encouraging formal and informal flexible working arrangements to facilitate a 300% increase in flexible working uptake from both male and female staff over the last five years
  • Removing bias from the recruitment process by achieving gender balance in 95% of interview panels, resulting in gender-balanced appointments
  • Improving gender equality of students achieving merit and distinction grades by reviewing and improving online resources, in-house pastoral care and advice and guidance on academic skills.

Professor Jennifer Kirkham, Interim Dean of the School of Dentistry, said: “I am delighted with this recognition of the outstanding efforts and hard work of our staff in shifting our culture and embedding equality and inclusivity in all that we do. This superb achievement moves us ever closer to our mission to ensure that all of our staff and students realise their full potential within a working environment of mutual dignity and respect and equality of opportunity for all.”

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