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Head of Classics and Ancient History Professor Daniel Ogden

The Department of Classics and Ancient History has been accepted on the Gender Equality Charter Mark (GEM) trial, one of only two Classics departments to be involved in it. For an academic subject to flourish and grow, we depend upon having a diverse range of people studying and working with us. We accept wider University and College Equality and Diversity initiatives but at the same time maintain a framework of our own that helps us to develop and monitor departmentally-based initiatives that engage with and in some ways extend these central ones.

We have an ongoing self-assessment process within a defined structure, and we look to feedback and ideas from other Universities on the trial. We wish to identify any areas of unintentional bias in the department, and work collectively to resolve them where they are found.

Professor Daniel Ogden, Head of Classics and Ancient History

Athena Swan: Bronze Award Holder

Addressing gender inequalities and imbalance in the arts, humanities and social sciences

Classics and Ancient History is proud to have been awarded a Bronze Award on the Gender Equality Charter Mark (GEM) trial run conducted by the Equality Challenge Unit. We are one of 36 UK departments who submitted applications as part of the trial. The awards were announced nationwide in October 2014.

We are one of only two Classics departments to have received a Bronze award. We will hold this award until December 2017, which will be the date of the next charter assessment.

The Gender Equality Charter Mark aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in the arts, humanities and social sciences, in particular the underrepresentation of women in senior academic roles. The purpose of the GEM is to recognise good practice, and to change working cultures to promote diversity.

This fantastic achievement attests to the Department’s continuing efforts to ensure gender equality within its own academic community; as well as to its leadership within the College, University and wider UK Classics community. We have created a working environment which reflects our views on gender equality and other forms of diversity.

The GEM trial builds on the success of the University’s engagement with the Athena SWAN charter. The GEM award is more wide-ranging, in a number of ways, than the Athena SWAN charter:

  • includes professional services and support staff
  • special focus on reducing unfair treatment often experienced by transgender people through promoting an inclusive culture
  • challenges unequal representation of both men and women at all levels of the academic community.

Following this success, the department will be invited to participate in a number of events organised by the Equality Challenge Unit. The GEM will also provide a clear structure for continuing to carry out self-assessment and adjust areas which have been, and may be, identified as areas of gender or other inequalities.

The department welcomes suggestions and ideas from all its stakeholders on where we might be able to continue to build on this achievement in improving the nature of our working environment.