The nursing department at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh has been given an award for its commitment to equality and diversity among staff and students.
The university’s division of nursing was presented with the award after signing up to a charter to promote equality established by the higher education sector’s Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).
“Staff morale and wellbeing are at the core of our values”
The Athena Swan charter scheme recognises best practice in creating equitable working environments, with bronze, silver and gold awards up for grabs.
The nursing department at Queen Margaret undertook a self-assessment exercise in order to achieve a bronze award.
“This award recognises our excellent work in valuing diversity and developing a person-centred culture in nursing,” said head of department Professor Brendan McCormack.
“We have a strategic plan in place that focuses on the ongoing development of a person-centred culture, which includes the Athena Swan principles of respect for individuality or age, gender identity, sexuality, disability, race, religion and belief,” he said.
Professor Brenden McCormack
Key to the nursing department’s approach to equality and diversity was a “shared governance model”, with all staff encouraged to get involved in decision-making and serve on university-wide committees.
This approach came alongside “active support for academic promotion”, said Professor McCormack, adding: “Staff morale and wellbeing are at the core of our values about good working practices.”
“Our Athena Swan action plan is also built on these values and will help us live them and fully embed them in all that we do, as well as working towards the silver award,” he said.