On Thursday 6th October, the Computer Science and Mathematics departments at the University of Exeter were awarded the prestigious Athena SWAN Silver award, which works to promote gender equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers.
The two departments, which both belong to the University’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, have released statements expressing their delight at achieving the award.
Athena SWAN was established in 2005, and its charter states that the aim of the project is 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.”
This isn’t the first time the University has been bestowed with an award by the scheme– four departments, including the University’s Medical School and the Sport and Health Sciences department, have already achieved the award at silver level. 2016 also marks Exeter’s 5th year being a member of the scheme, during which time the university has achieved a bronze award across the institution.
As of March 2015, women represent less than 13% of the UK STEM workforce according to Women In Science and Engineering (WISE). It finds that male students typically outnumber females in STEM undergraduate degrees also.
138 universities across the UK are members of the Athena SWAN scheme, including all 24 Russell Group universities.