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Athena SWAN at MDX

Working towards gender equality in higher education

At MDX we believe in the importance of gender equality. To strengthen our efforts in this area, we have signed up to the Athena SWAN Charter. Our Athena Swan Bronze Award recognises that we have a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021, which assess universities against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has also recognised our commitment, ranking us #12 out of 776 institutions for SDG5 Gender Equality.

About Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in the higher education sector, spanning both teaching and research. In 2015, the Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in non-STEMM subjects, and now includes staff in professional and support roles.

Athena SWAN is managed by AdvanceHE. More information about Athena SWAN can be found on the AdvanceHE website.

Bronze Award

We have been awarded a highly-esteemed Bronze Award by the Athena Swan Charter, which recognises that the University has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

The Athena Swan internal Self-Assessment Team undertook a rigorous self-assessment of data to assess gender equality across Middlesex's staff community. From this insight, the team developed a set of short, medium and longer term actions to help further drive forward gender equality and representation across the University, including gender non-conforming individuals.

These actions include:

  • Reviewing the promotion and progression process.
  • Further embedding the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in new staff inductions and at local level across teams.
  • Enhancing knowledge of the University’s parental leave policies and developing a more robust support mechanism for staff needing to access it.
  • Embracing and embedding more engaging and affirmative communications in our approaches to recruitment to encourage applications from underrepresented groups.

Self-assessment team

The Athena SWAN self-assessment team (SAT) currently meets quarterly. The SAT is working together to identify and implement necessary actions to improve gender equality at MDX, using data and research.

The main focus of the SAT is to:

  • Reflect on a range of quantitative and qualitative data to identify both challenges and opportunities with regards to gender equality
  • Evaluate relevant policies, practices and activities
  • Respond to the findings of the above, and establish gender equality-based priority areas with appropriate aspirations and targets
  • Develop an evidence-based, comprehensive action plan to underpin advancement against the agreed priorities over the whole award period (four years), after which time the University will apply to renew or upgrade our award
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of actions undertaken on an ongoing basis, to ensure actions are delivering desired impact against objectives, and evolve the action plan in response to evaluation.

The SAT has representation from a breadth of career stages and staff types, including professional and support staff, research and academic staff, and students. Membership of the SAT is gender-balanced, taking account of intersectionality in its make-up so far as is practicable, and is representative of the diversity inherent within MDX.

MDX staff can meet the SAT on the staff intranet (please note, this page is for MDX staff only and requires a login).

Research activities

Our research activities for Athena SWAN is following four strands:

  • Recruitment, promotion, picture of institution, supporting trans people and intersectionality
  • Parental leave, care and flexible working
  • Training, outreach, staff development, career progression
  • Senior level, governance, policy.

We will update this area with key findings in due course.

Gender pay reporting

Find out more about MDX's gender pay data on our gender pay policy page.

Information for staff

MDX staff can find further information on the staff intranet (please note, this page is for MDX staff only and requires a login).

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