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24 September 2010
Two Schools have been recognised for their commitment to advancing and promoting the careers of women in science with a national accolade.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies and the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences have received bronze and silver Athena SWAN charter awards respectively for their good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).
The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises excellence in SET employment in higher education and commends good practice for women working in these areas.
The award judges praised the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies’ activities and initiatives around promotion, particularly noting the mentoring available through the Women in Universities Mentoring Scheme and the Women Professors’ Forum. The panel was also pleased to see the appointment of two female Deputy Heads of School.
The School of Optometry and Vision Sciences was recognised for its dual appraisal and mentoring system, open door policy, and one-to-one meetings with staff returning from maternity leave to identify any support needed. The panel were also pleased to see that the School recognised the core working day to be from 10.30am to 3.30pm and that every effort was made to make sure meetings and social gatherings started and finished within these hours. Head of School, Professor Tim Wess was also commended for his involvement in both the University and School equality and diversity committees.
In both cases, the panel remarked they were pleased to see submissions from the Schools, as a non-traditional academic department in the case of the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies; and the first submission from a discipline of its type in reference to the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
Professor Tim Wess, Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences said: "We are the first School in Wales to receive the Silver Award. Equality is a cornerstone of our values and we are delighted that the hard work, planning and staff support to get this right has been recognised."
Professor Sheila Hunt, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies said: "We are delighted to have been honoured in this way and look forward to providing evidence of our continued progress towards the silver award." In 2009, Cardiff University was one of only 19 universities nationwide to have been awarded a prestigious bronze award under the Charter for its commitment to women in science.
Athena SWAN is funded jointly by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology and Equality Challenge Unit.
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