King's recognised for advancing gender equality in the arts

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Dr Filippa Lentzos of SSHM at the UN Biological Weapons Convention with her baby, Elena.

The Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine has received a Bronze award from the Equality Challenge Unit for their progress in advancing gender equality in arts, humanities and social science careers in higher education.

Based on the principles of ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter for women in science, the gender equality charter mark aims to address chronic gender imbalance and underrepresentation in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Social Science, Health and Medicine is one of 17 individual departments across five universities to be recognised.

Bronze level is the first step in the process towards Gold status and is the highest level you can achieve on first submission. It is acknowledgement of the Department’s strong commitment to specific actions and to building a culture that will improve the representation, progression and success of both staff and students.

Members of the Self-Assessment-Team

While the charter has a particular focus on the underrepresentation of women in senior roles, it will also encourage progress on the underrepresentation of men in subjects such as teaching and social work and also seeks to address the unfair treatment often experienced by trans people.

Sabrina Fernandez, Chair of the Self-Assessment-Team that prepared the submission, said: ‘We are thrilled to have our equality efforts recognised through this award.  We would like to thank our colleagues in SSHM, and across King’s, who supported our submission. We hope our Action Plan will inspire others and look forward to implementing our initiatives to generate further change.’


Professor Nik Rose, Head of the Department, said: ‘We are delighted! The Department has been committed to gender equality from its inception, but we have learned a great deal through this process and we are looking forward to going for silver next time!  The whole Department was involved in the work towards our submission, managed by Cathy Herbrand and Barbara Prainsack, and of course, our superb Department Manager Sabrina Fernandez – and I would like to single Sabrina out for special thanks.’


Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Principal Arts & Sciences, said: ‘Denise Lievesley, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, and I would like to warmly congratulate SSHM on its GEM award and thank the department for its strong commitment to equality and diversity. The application and assessment were challenging processes and we learned a great deal about our strengths and areas for improvement. We are delighted that so many other departments in our faculties are now planning their GEM (gender equality mark) applications.’


David Ruebain, ECU’s chief executive, said: ‘We hope that the gender equality charter mark will have the same positive effect for the arts, humanities and social sciences as Athena SWAN has had on women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. I commend the work of all the participants so far and look forward to seeing the impact of their actions as they move up to silver, and gold levels in the future.’

Notes to editors

For further media information please contact Anna Mitchell, PR Manager (Arts and Sciences), on or 0207 848 3092.

For further information about King's visit our 'King's in Brief' page.

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