Athena SWAN

Liverpool John Moores’ Sport and Exercise Science department is a proud holder of an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

Athena Swan logo

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences EDI Panel was established in 2020, prior to which it was referred to as the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team. The Athena SWAN Charter provided an impetus, initial focus, and structure for our work, ensuring we utilise evidence to inform the development of clear actions, measures, and targets. However, following successful bronze accreditation in 2019, our Terms of Reference were updated to reflect our aspiration to establish a broader equity, diversity and inclusivity remit. To this end, the EDI Panel recognises that while Athena SWAN work is primarily considered through the lens of gender, other factors that shape people’s identity, and therefore their experience within the institution, should also be recognised, celebrated, and accounted for.

"The recognition is testament to all of the hard work that the department has undertaken over the last few years to advance equality, progression and success for all staff and students."

Key issues and actions taken

  • EDI Panel feature a regular slot (EDItorial) in the RISES newsletter, circulated to all SPS staff and students, to communicate ongoing activity.
  • Personal tutor groups have been amended to ensure at least two women are together; this action was developed after feelings of isolation were identified in focus groups.
  • SPS programme revalidation to embed EDI and decolonise the curricula.
  • Encouragement of incorporating pronouns in staff email signatures.
  • All job advertisements are processed through a gender decoding software to ensure neutral language and a diversity statement is included
  • All of SPS website and promotional materials underwent a thorough audit of imagery and language which resulted in considered and deliberate rebranding with a focus on diverse representation and neutral language
  • Development of an inclusion calendar that displays key diversity dates and events celebrated nationally and world-wide.

The School of Sport & Exercise Sciences has formally pledged their commitment to the transformed principles of the Athena Swan Charter. In committing to the principles of the Athena Swan Charter, we recognise that we join a global community with a shared goal of addressing gender inequalities and embedding inclusive cultures.

We pledge to generate evidence to inform our own, specific gender equality challenges and develop our priorities accordingly.

In determining our priorities and interventions, we commit to:

  1. adopting robust, transparent, and accountable processes for gender equality work, including:
    • embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/institute/department accountable.
    • undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes to direct our priorities and interventions for gender equality and evaluating our progress to inform our continuous development.
    • ensuring that gender equality work is distributed appropriately, is recognised, and properly rewarded.
  2. addressing structural inequalities and social injustices that manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students.
  3. tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments for people of all genders, including not tolerating gender-based violence, discrimination, bullying, harassment, or exploitation.
  4. understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities.
  5. fostering collective understanding that individuals have the right to determine their own gender identity, and tackling the specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people because of their identity.
  6. examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice, and career opportunities of any identified under-valued and at-risk groups.
  7. mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’.
  8. mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.

Athena SWAN at LJMU