Athena Swan in the School of History
As part of its commitment to equality, the School is currently preparing an application for an Athena Swan Bronze award. The Athena Swan Charter was set up in 2005 to encourage the participation, representation and progression of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM); in 2015, the scheme was expanded to include humanities and social sciences. The School is the first in the faculty of Humanities at Kent to undertake this process.
By taking part in this process, we are demonstrating our commitment to the principles and practice of gender equality within higher education (including academic, professional and support roles). A report in January 2015 from the Royal Historical Society identified the gender gap that still exists within History, along with some explanations for that disparity, such as a persistent invisible bias. The purpose of our application is to identify and respond to these sorts of obstacles in career progression faced by women within the School, implementing specific actions that will result in a fair and transparent place to work for everyone, regardless of their gender.
Though the primary focus of the Athena Swan Charter is gender, we understand that people’s identities are shaped by several factors at the same time, which creates a unique perspective and experience. These factors include among other age, disability, race, gender identitiy, religion and belief, and sexuality. The School of History will be mindful of this intersectionality when exploring issues and developing solutions as, for example, the experience within HE may vary greatly for a black woman compare with a white woman.