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Zepler Institute presented Athena SWAN Bronze Award for advancing gender equality

Date Announced: 28 May 2019

ORC, Southampton, UK -- The Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics has been recognised for its commitment to gender equality with an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

The prize commends the Institute's plans for equal representation, progression and success for its staff and students.

The University of Southampton is a founding signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter and now holds 12 awards across its Schools.

Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics said: "We are incredibly proud to have achieved this award. It recognises the commitment shown by our School to promote personal and professional growth for all genders within the fields of photonics and nanoelectronics.

"Our outreach, community and networking activities have been recognised by a recent Queen's Anniversary Prize and we will continue to encourage gender-balanced interest from young people to choose this exciting career path."

The Athena SWAN Charter was set up in 2005 to acknowledge the commitment of the higher education sector in addressing gender inequalities, tackling the unequal representation of women in science and improving career progression for female academics. 

This scope was expanded in 2015 to encompass 10 principles and now recognises barriers in other disciplines, including those for men, trans people and the impact of race.

By being part of Athena SWAN, the Zepler Institute is committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within its policies, practices, action plans and culture.

Professor Kevin MacDonald, Chair of the Zepler Institute's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, said: "We are extremely pleased to receive this Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises our commitment to equality and diversity and its ambition to keep improving the working and learning environment for all members of the School."

Professor Mark Spearing, President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim) added: "This Athena SWAN award recognises and celebrates the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics' concerted efforts towards the advancement of gender equality, alongside continuous staff development to nurture and invest in our own people.

"It also contributes more widely to the University of Southampton's reputation as a supportive environment for study, research and employment, which remains at the heart of our strategic ambitions and everything we do. I am delighted this support for gender equality has now been recognised in this positive way."


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