Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) Charter Mark

Update from our Scottish Committee

At the last Scottish committee meeting it was agreed that engagement with the new ECU Gender Equality Charter Mark would be valuable for members.

Following a meeting with Ellen Pugh, Senior Policy Adviser for Equality Challenge Unit, we are able to provide some more information about the ECU strategy for engaging across the humanities, arts and social sciences.

The ECU are currently considering how to involve groups, associations and learned societies with the charter. It has been suggested that holding a seminar or conference activity that would provide the opportunity to learn more about the charter would be useful. In addition they would like to know more about existing initiatives around the issue of diversity in different institutions. Details of any upcoming events will be communicated and promoted through the ABS.

The ECU have already identified the ABS as a key stakeholder to work with and through.

The template for the initiative is being finalised and the principles of the charter are currently under consultation. A trial will then be rolled out towards the end of July in order to establish best practise for the broader initiative. Certain questions about the scope of the project are still under review, including whether to apply the charter to professional and support staff as well as academics, and whether the scheme should be only women based or gender based.

At this point, we have been asked to stay in touch and await further engagement as they look forward to working with us in the future.

We are currently still waiting to hear from Professor Averil MacDonald who is heavily involved with the Athena Swan initiative in science and had experience of working through the award scheme. It was suggested that coinciding a meeting with her when she visits Scotland in September may be valuable. As yet that is tbc.
Further updates will be circulated.

For further details please contact: James Newhall