Athena SWAN in SHW

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.

Two staff chatting in front of stained glass window

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.

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

  • supporting promotion and career progression (including mentoring opportunities) for all staff including professional services and early career researchers;
  • supporting flexible working including for staff with parental and caring responsibilities;
  • supporting older workers;
  • supporting LGBTQ+ staff and students;
  • providing a responsive and supportive environment for our students.

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.