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University of Nottingham first university to achieve Athena Swan Gold

28 Nov 2023 | Advance HE First university to achieve Gold award for promoting and improving gender equality in HE.

The University of Nottingham has become the first university in the UK to achieve an Athena Swan Gold award for its commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. 

Since the Athena Swan Charter’s launch in 2005, 19 higher education departments and 1 research institute have achieved Gold status but this is the first time a university is awarded the highest accolade.  

To achieve Gold, the independent review panel said the University of Nottingham demonstrated strong evidence of success in promoting and improving gender equality institution-wide. The panel was particularly impressed by the University leading work across Nottinghamshire to diversify the workforce in all anchor employers in the region, including NHS recruitment, building on research on gendered language and recruitment practices. 

Alison Johns, Chief Executive, Advance HE, said, “I am delighted to announce that the University of Nottingham is the first university in the UK to achieve Athena Swan Gold.   

“The Gold award recognises the quality and impact of equality, diversity and inclusion achievements not only within the University, but also the leadership and support that the University of Nottingham has provided both inside and outside of the sector to help raise the bar in gender equity practice.  

“To receive an institutional Gold award is a massive achievement and recognises the dedication and commitment of so many who have worked unstintingly to deliver on gender equality across the whole institution. Our congratulations go to Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West, her team and all colleagues at the University of Nottingham on this prestigious award.” 

The University of Nottingham was one of the first institutions to join the Charter and was awarded an Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award in 2006, and later went on to achieve an Institutional Silver Award in 2012, and the Institutional Renewal in 2017/2018.

Katherine Linehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and People, and Professor of Anatomical Education, said: “I am incredibly proud that the university has achieved an institutional Gold Award. Doing so requires an organisation to demonstrate progress with regard to gender equality over a sustained period and evidence of influence and the support of others through beacon activities. 

“This has taken a huge effort from many people, often women, at the university over the past 18 years and this award is a sector and public acknowledgement of the impact of their work.”

Find out more about Advance HE's equality charters


Already a Athena Swan Member? 

If you are already a Athena Swan member you will find all the latest application guidance, forms and templates in Advance HE Connect in the Athena Swan Members Network group (members access only). Please make sure you are signed up to Connect by 15 January 2024, as after that time all the member resources will be removed from the Advance HE website and only available to members via Connect.


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