Athena SWAN in IHW

LGBTQ+ staff and student issues, aspirations and development

Photo of trans and lgbt flags


Fiona CarylAvril Johnstone and Caroline Haig

Who can join this group?

The same way all colours joined together make the rainbow and all LGBTQ+ flags, all types of people can make the Athena Swan LGBTQ+ Working Group. Anyone can be what we like calling an "ally". We welcome anyone who is willing to contribute to the group, independently of gender identity or sexual orientation. We expect the group to be as diverse as possible, and include staff members and students from a range of grades, job families, and ages.


The main aims of the LGBTQ+ group are:

  • To collect and report on data related to LGBTQ+ workers and students within IHW;
  • To identify and address any issue regarding working environment experienced by LGBTQ+ IHW staff members and students;
  • To identify and address any issue regarding equal opportunities experienced by LGBTQ+ IHW staff members and students;
  • To report on career and personal development opportunities in the LGBTQ+ theme for staff and students in IHW, including managerial staff members;
  • To monitor and feedback on LGBTQ+ related activities;
  • To include LGBTQ+ related training in the new staff and line manager induction material, and monitor its effect;
  • To ensure the interests of the LGBTQ+ community are well represented within IHW.


Although this working group is relatively new, some meetings were arranged between its chairs and stakeholders to brainstorm on the priorities and activities of the group. We aim to officially have our first meeting with all the allies soon to discuss ideas and list actions for the upcoming months.

In 2021, we appointed a safe-ally (Kate O'Donnell) and a safe community member (Fiona Caryl). 

Kate (Kate.O' and Fiona ( are both available should you wish to chat to someone in confidence.