The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.
In 2013 the Mathematical Institute received an Athena Swan Bronze Award for its work in addressing the issue of gender equality in its subject and working environment and, as a result of our work over the next four years, in 2017 we received the Silver Award. This year that Silver has been renewed and reflects the work put in as we strive for gender equality in a subject that, while predominantly still male, is becoming more balanced.
What have we done?
- We have Increased gender diversity across most student/staff groups, with female postgraduate numbers almost doubling. Given that these are the faculty of the future, In Oxford and elsewhere, this is very encouraging. We will continue to work on providing an environment that encourages those students to continue to progress in their careers.
- We are pleased with the ongoing success of our recent, prestigious Hooke and Titchmarsh Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, which attract a high number of women and provide an exceptional springboard into an independent academic career.
- We continue to work hard to engage and encourage young school-age female mathematicians. It All Adds Up, where we bring female school pupils together to meet other keen young mathematicians, is just one successful example. We are approaching 30% female undergraduate intake, in line with the number of female high-school students studying Further Maths at 'A' Level.
Charters such as Athena Swan work best when they make you think about what you do rather than being an end in themselves. That has been perhaps the most successful part of Athena Swan for us. We are integrating it into our strategic priorities and intertwining it with, for example, our Race Equality action plan.. Mathematics is a subject that had a lot of ground make up, but we and the wider mathematical world are making meaningful progress.