Our approach

Supporting and celebrating equality and diversity is integral to our strategic aims, and central to decision-making. We firmly believe that to achieve our full research potential, all staff must feel fully engaged and valued.

What is Athena SWAN?

"The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women."Athena SWAN website

Since 2012, the Athena Swan Charter has guided our efforts to create an inclusive and supportive workplace culture. However, our gender equality quest long predates this and is embedded in our culture and identity. We celebrated our Athena Swan Bronze award in 2014 and Silver in 2015. In 2018, we became one of only a handful of university departments across the UK to achieve Gold.

We provide regular opportunities for staff feedback on equality and diversity issues through an open door policy, an online suggestion box, as well as annual surveys, in-depth interviews and at our research and professional services away days.

our activities

Our equality and diversity activities are guided by our Athena Swan self assessment team (SAT) and 10 working groups. They include:

Our Working Groups

Our Athena Swan SAT (self assessment team) working groups are open to all staff (research, teaching, professional services) and students.

New staff and students are encouraged to become a member of a working group when they take up post, and information about this is provided as part of induction. Contributions to Athena Swan are recognised in individual's workload model and during annual reviews.

10 groups focus in detail on areas where we wish to make continual improvements. These are:

  1. Early career researcher (ECR) issues, aspirations and development
  2. Career progression
  3. LGBTQ+ staff and student issues, aspirations and development
  4. Maternity, paternity, parental and carer issues and development
  5. Mentoring arrangements
  6. Postgraduate research and Doctor of Clinical Psychology student issues, aspirations and development
  7. Professional services staff issues, aspirations and development
  8. Staff consultation
  9. Undergraduate and postgraduate taught student issues, aspirations and development
  10. Wellbeing of older workers and students (WOWS)