Athena SWAN

"Recent growth in the School of Computing Science has resulted in better gender balance and more diversity among the staff. More remains to be done, of course, and our participation in the Athena SWAN programme is a key part of achieving a truly inclusive environment for all staff and students. I am pleased to support the work of our Equality and Diversity Committee as we aim for an Athena SWAN Silver award." Prof Simon Gay (Head of School)

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) subjects in higher education and research. 

Charter members can apply for recognition in the form of Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards at either Institutional or Department level. The three levels of awards recognise plans, and progress against plans, to address gender inequalities, to change culture and attitude, and to tackle structural barriers to women making career transitions into senior academic posts.

Computing Science has held a departmental Bronze Award from Athena SWAN since October 2015, recognising our commitment to provide the resources necessary to eliminate gender bias and create an inclusive culture that values female staff.

Our current activities are centred on influencing primary and high school curricula as part of the Scottish Government Gender Action Plan (GAP) to achieve at least a 25% female intake amongst Scottish domiciled students by 2030.

Why Athena SWAN?

  • The Charter demonstrates the commitment to gender equality, good management practice and the advancement and promotion of careers of women in STEMM.
  • Research into the impact of Athena SWAN activity demonstrates that making Universities better workplaces for women improves their quality for men as well.
  • Athena SWAN recognises Positive Action that can be taken to redress this unfairness; it does not support, reward, or endorse Positive Discrimination which is, of course, illegal in the UK.
  • Athena SWAN enhances both internal and external reputation with the development of initiatives to bring about longer term cultural change which will benefit all staff and students.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to equality and diversity is an essential component of successfully engaging with the Internationalisation agenda in terms of attracting the best staff and student talent; Research Excellence Framework; and Widening Participation work.
  • EPSRC has also considered linking funding to Athena SWAN participation; it has not definitively ruled out linking funding in this way in the future.
  • RCUK includes Athena SWAN participation within its evidence of a commitment to Equality and Diversity by Institutions and Departments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are core hours for Computing Science?

Core hours are from 10am to 4pm. Generally, committee meetings and research seminars should be timed to take place within core hours. This makes it easier for staff and students with care commitments to participate in meetings and seminars.

Is it possible to contact female computer scientists directly?

Yes. We have dedicated mailing lists for undergraduate and postgraduate female Computer Scientists. Please get in touch with Jeremy Singer if you want to send a message on either/both of these lists.

I am an early career researcher who requires flexible working patterns due to family responsibilities. Are any specialized grants available?

Yes - consider applying for a Dorothy Hodgkin fellowship.

Are there any fellowships specifically targeted at female computer scientists?

Yes - if you are a researcher, consider applying for a L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science fellowship. If you are an undergrad/postgrad student, consider applying for a Google Women Techmakers scholarship.

Would a colleague at Glasgow be willing to review my fellowship or scholarship application?

Yes, the Director of Research (Prof Craig Macdonald) is happy to review fellowship applications, or to find someone else who is suitable.

I have recently become a parent. Where can I find advice and support at the university?

Why not join the Parent Buddy Network? This group facilitates peer-support and advice around managing childcare issues and workloads.