Levels of Award
As of 2018, the Pleiades Awards scheme aims to encourage organisations to promote equity and inclusion of all people and encourage practices that actively support currently marginalised groups (including those of diverse ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, and disabilities). Key components to achieving the goal of equity and inclusion within an organisation include adopting practices that promote awareness of unconscious bias, encourage full participation of a diverse population of people at all levels of professional life, and the importance of work-life balance. The IDEA Chapter believes that transparency and communication within organisations are key to achieving this goal.
Prior to 2018, the Pleiades Awards scheme aimed to encourage organisations to adopt practices that promoted awareness of unconscious bias, encouraged full participation of women at all levels of professional life, and recognised the importance of work-life balance in enabling the career development trajectory of many women.
There are three levels of Award; Gold, Silver and Bronze. The selection criteria for each level of award are currently being updated to reflect the aims of the IDEA Chapter for Award Rounds from 2018 onward. The old criteria focused on gender equity (prior to 2018) are described below.
In the event that the criteria for the level of award sought by the eligible organisation are not met, the awards committee will consider the application against the criteria for a lower award level.
The Bronze Pleiades is the entry-level award for organisations that are committed to the aims of the IDEA Chapter. Organisations must demonstrate that they have examined their conduct against the aims of the Chapter, developed a credible and measurable plan of action and demonstrated commitment to implement changes consistently across the organisation.
The Silver Pleiades recognises organisations with a sustained record of at least two years monitoring and improving the working environment. It also recognises leadership in promoting positive actions as examples of best practice to other organisations in the astronomy community. Prior attainment of a Bronze award is a prerequisite for this award.*
The Gold Pleiades Award recognises a truly outstanding sustained commitment to best practice in relation to the aims of the IDEA Chapter. Attaining a Gold Pleiades award is an exceptional accomplishment. Prior attainment of both Bronze and Silver awards is a prerequisite for this award.* Attaining a Gold Pleiades award is an exceptional accomplishment.
* For the first year of applications after the revisions to the selection criteria (2018), applications for Silver and Gold will be accepted as long as they can demonstrate that all of the revised selection criteria have been met over the stated time periods. Organisations will not necessarily be required to obtain a Bronze Award under the new selection criteria before progressing to Silver or Gold.
Pleiades Award Criteria prior to 2018 are listed below:
|Examined the conduct of the organisation in relation to Gender Equity, and identified several specific areas in which there are opportunities to improve.||Y||Y||Y|
|Monitored the conduct of the organisation in relation to Gender Equity over a sustained period of at least 2 years.||N||Y||Y|
|Monitored the conduct of the organisation in relation to Gender Equity over a sustained period of at least 4 years.||N||N||Y|
|Demonstrated a credible commitment to implement a range of initiatives during the coming 2 years that will promote Gender Equity and demonstrate best practice.||Y||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated the implementation of a range of initiatives during the past 2 years including best practices and initatives with high potential in promoting Gender Equity. Also identified several specific areas in which there are still opportunities to improve, and made plans to address those over the coming 2 years.||N||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated sustained best practice across a broad range of measures for at least the past 2 years, and implemented novel and/or high-profile initiatives that have a broad reach and have significantly progressed Gender Equity in the organisation over the past 2 years.||N||N||Y|
|Devised ways to measure impact (or lack thereof) of planned initiatives within the organisation.||Y||Y||Y|
|Measured the impact (or lack thereof) of initiatives within the organisation over the past 2 years or more.||N||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated the tangible positive impact of initiatives within the organisation over the past 2 years or more.||N||N||Y|
|Established a team of staff to identify, implement and monitor positive changes in Gender Equity within the organisation.||Y||Y||Y|
|Maintained a committed team of staff over the past 2 years that regularly meet to identify, monitor and implement positive changes.||N||Y||Y|
|Maintained a committed team of staff over the past 4 years that regularly meet to identify, monitor and implement positive changes.||N||N||Y|
|Publicised the commitment to work towards best practice by circulating specific plans to all staff and students within the organisation.||Y||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated regular communication of goals and progress reports to all staff and students within the organisation.||N||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated a public commitment to sharing best practice and achievements inside as well as outside the organisation, thereby encouraging others to implement positive change.||N||N||Y|
|Provided safe avenues for staff to report issues or make suggestions without risk of repercussions.||Y||Y||Y|
|Performed an (anonymous) climate survey to identify equity and diversity issues within organisation, and presented results to staff and students.||N||Y||Y|
|Developed and executed an action plan to address issues uncovered by climate survey within 2 years of climate survey findings.||N||N||Y|
|Announced a credible commitment from the head of the organisation to achieving Gender Equity goals set out by the organisation.||Y||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated effective commitment from the head of the organisation to achieving Gender Equity goals set out by the organisation.||N||Y||Y|
|Demonstrated widespread ‘buy-in’ throughout the organisation, including universal uptake of appropriate training and vocal leadership by senior managers.||N||N||Y|
An eligible organisation can be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, or no award. In the latter case, feedback will be given and the organisation will be encouraged to develop a plan and to work towards appropriate goals.
The Pleiades Awards recognise the implementation of “best practices” at eligible organisations, which are initiatives and ideas specifically targeting issues such as unconscious bias, unequal pay and higher female attrition rates at certain career stages.
Examples of good practice can be found in the 2015 Silver Pleiades Award holders’ presentations at the ASA Annual Scientific Meeting:
AAO Silver Pleiades Award Presentation 2015
CAASTRO Silver Pleiades Award Presentation 2015
Eligible organisations may choose to gain inspiration and ideas from initiatives employed at other institutions. Information is available on the Chapter website under “Resources to Take Action”, and past workshop proceedings therein. Eligible organisations can choose whether they use existing schemes and policies, or create completely new ones.