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Queen's is UK leader for female scientists and engineers

Queen's has been named as the lead university in the United Kingdom for tackling the unequal representation of women in science and engineering.

It is the only UK University to be awarded a Silver institutional honour at the Athena SWAN Charter awards, which recognise the commitment of institutions, and science, engineering and technology (SET) departments, to addressing gender inequalities and improving career progression for female academics.

In addition to the institutional award, Queen's is the University with the most departmental silver awards.

Seven individual Schools (Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology; Psychology; Biological Sciences; Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering; Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), also received silver awards. These recognise that in addition to institution-wide policies the department has a significant record of activity.

The Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Mathematics and Physics and Pharmacy received bronze awards for their work and commitment to furthering the careers of female academics.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen's, Professor Tom Millar, said: "This award confirms the reputation of Queen's University Belfast as the UK leader in promoting the careers of female staff in SET subjects (science, engineering and technology). It is recognition of the enormous contribution and commitment, for more than a decade, of many staff, academic and non-academic, male and female, to ensure that the University continues to lead the way in supporting the careers and career ambitions of female academic staff."

Director of Queen's University's Gender Initiative, Professor Yvonne Galligan said: "The Silver award is recognition that Queen's is committed to women in science and engineering. This award marks the University out as a national leader in gender equity in employment. As Director of Queen's Gender Initiative, I am very aware of how much Queen's and the wider economy benefit from enabling women in science to achieve their potential. To do so, we have devised concrete, targeted actions across the sciences that we will be implementing in the coming years. These actions build on over a decade of work, and a remarkable team effort across the University."

Sarah Dickinson, Senior Policy Advisor from Athena SWAN said: "This award, given to Queen's University, is the first Silver Athena SWAN University award to be conferred since the criteria for this level of award were amended, and as such it confirms the University's status as a national leader in gender-equitable employment practices."

Contact: Claire O'Callaghan
Queen's University Belfast

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