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University of Sheffield, Department of Politics and International Relations: Transformed Athena Swan Charter Application Feedback

Transformed Athena Swan Charter Application Feedback
Target Group
Academic staff
Early career staff
Postgraduate students
Professional and support staff
Researchers
Undergraduate students
Initiative institution
University of Sheffield
Publication date

Institution and Department: University of Sheffield, Department of Politics and International Relations
Level of award applied for: Bronze
Result: Award Conferred

Overall comments

Overall, the Panel considers that this is a strong Bronze application. There are good structures and processes in place to underpin gender equality work, for example, there is evidence of Head of Department buy-in, a clear overview of the Department and its structure for EDI, good communication of processes within the Department, and workload allocation for the SAT. The Panel also commends the recognition of gender equality work in promotions criteria. The Panel considers that it would have been helpful to clarify the future division of work between the EDIC and SAT and recommends that the Department considers taking action to increase the staff survey response rate (currently 50%) and to ensure that the SAT membership reflects the gender composition of the Department.

The Panel considers that the application includes strong evidence-based recognition of the key issues facing the Department. The Panel notes that five priorities have been identified, and commends the actions already taken to diversify student recruitment, the opportunities for PTO staff to develop their CVs and the Department’s response to concerns about social activities. The Panel notes that qualitative data is limited in some areas (e.g., further staff feedback relating to improving culture would have been helpful), but also notes the actions in place to address this. The Panel recommends that this data is collated as soon as possible in order to explain some of the quantitative data outcomes and to support the development of actions where appropriate. Although ethnicity data has been analysed in some areas (e.g., student recruitment and the awarding gap), the Panel suggests that a more intersectional approach, specifically looking at the intersection of gender and ethnicity, would be helpful; the annual report on recruitment may support this. The Panel also notes that there are fewer women at grades 8 and 9 and recommends that the Department considers whether it would be helpful to develop an action to address this.

The Panel considers that the action plan is based on quantitative and qualitative data, is SMART and has a gender focus. There is good consideration of intersectional issues and a good balance of process-based actions and those which will have a direct impact on gender equality issues. The Panel commends the inclusion of metrics within the success measures, but advises that some success measures will measure implementation rather than enable evaluation of success. In addition, some actions could be more specific and targeted in order to effect change and enable the evaluation of success. The Panel also suggests that the Department considers the addition of Equality Impact Assessments to enhance action 3.

Scores against criteria

A - Structures and processes underpin and recognise gender equality work
Score: 4 - Good. The application addresses the criterion very well.

B - Evidence-based recognition of the key issues facing the applicant
Score: 4 - Good. The application addresses the criterion very well.

C - Action plan to address identified key issues
Score: 3 - Satisfactory. The criterion is adequately addressed.

Key Next Steps

To support a future Silver application, the Panel recommends that the Department reviews and records progress regularly, to enable them to clearly demonstrate success. The Panel also suggests that the Department addresses the identified gaps in qualitative data as soon as possible, and takes an intersectional approach to data analysis in order to identify potential intersectional inequalities.

Good Practice Example

The Panel commends the creation of the Student Inclusion Committee and the recognition of gender equality work, including workload allocation for the Director, academic staff members and committee members.

See the application on the department’s website here.