After a period focusing attention on harassment and complaints procedures, we are happy now to be returning to the full range of Athena Swan activities.
- The History Faculty’s Complaints Procedures Working Group worked throughout the 2021-22 academic year to improve procedures which have been recognized as woefully problematic. Procedures for dealing with harassment are set by the University and enacted by Faculties with the aid of external investigators and professional advisors. The Complaints Procedures Working Group, led by Christina de Bellaigue, made detailed proposals and the History Faculty is acting upon them.
- The History Faculty will improve communication about harassment and complaints, support complainants more effectively, investigate complaints in accordance with University policy (https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/harassment-staff), and operate on the basis that complainants have already been through trauma, need to be believed, empowered and informed.
- In addition, the Working Group made recommendations for the improvement of University procedures, which are now under consideration.
- The pace of this Working Group picked up substantially as a result of a particular case. All that is legally possible has been done here, and important lessons have been learned.
We continue to welcome comments, as we work on gender equality across all aspects of life in the Faculty. The ultimate goal of the Athena Swan programme is to enable us to pinpoint problematic areas, and to work towards a culture in which everyone can fully realise their potential and be valued as complete human beings in the process.
The Faculty of History is delighted to have received a Bronze Athena SWAN award for the years 2019-23. Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. The Faculty’s Bronze Award recognises the work we have begun to do, but importantly commits us to a range of actions which we hope will make us a more diverse and equal community.
We committed to publishing our submission, and you can find it here. Since 2019, we have begun work on implementing the large number of actions to we planned. The pandemic has inevitably slowed our progress. It has also added new work, as we recognise that its impacts have fallen unequally across different groups in the Faculty; but we are moving forward and hope to be back on track within the 2020/1 academic year.