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For staff


Accreditation recognises ongoing efforts to improve gender equality at Cambridge.

The University’s application included an extensive action plan, which will guide its work on gender equality over the next four years. This plan is fully integrated with other work to support staff that the University is undertaking under its People Strategy and the Vice-Chancellor’s priorities framework.

Professor Eilís Ferran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations, said: “This award recognises the significant work that we have been undertaking to improve gender equality at Cambridge.

“However, there is still a long way to go. We have ambitious targets to reduce our gender pay gap and improve opportunities for all staff through tackling implicit bias in recruitment and promotion, encouraging a culture of inclusive leadership, and improving career development schemes for both our academic and our professional services staff.

“We are committed, through our People Strategy, to making Cambridge a thriving and inclusive place to work for all our staff. Initiatives to improve gender equality are only part of this: we are also working hard to tackle harassment, support staff wellbeing and improve career progression opportunities for everyone.”

Many faculties and departments within the University hold their own Athena SWAN award. In the most recent round of awards, the Faculties of English and Music each received a Bronze, the first humanities departments at Cambridge to gain Athena SWAN accreditation. The awards recognise a combination of existing initiatives and future plans: in English these include structural changes to the curriculum to address a historic gender gap in undergraduate exam performance, while Music is increasing the visibility of diverse role models, instituting new induction and mentoring systems, and analysing the causes of recruitment imbalances.

The Athena SWAN charter exists to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women, and to promoting gender equality more widely, in higher education and research. It originally focused on STEMM subjects, but expanded its scope in 2015 to include arts and humanities departments, professional and support staff, and trans staff. The University gained a Bronze award in 2009 and a Silver award in 2014; this has now been renewed until 2023.



07 May 2019