Athena Swan in SHW
SHW maternity and paternity champion scheme
SHW's maternity and paternity champion scheme was established in January 2022 and aims to provide support for anyone who is planning, is taking, or has recently returned from maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave.
Who is the scheme for and what is its aim?
The scheme is aimed at any member of staff in SHW who:
- is planning maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave
- is soon to go on to maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave
- is currently on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave
- has recently returned from maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave
The scheme is intended to provide support from another SHW staff member – an SHW maternity and paternity champion – who is a parent themselves and has volunteered to share their experiences and offer guidance around the maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave process.
Who are our maternity and paternity champions?
Our maternity and paternity champions are staff members who have returned to work following leave and who are willing to share their experiences of the transition to their dual role of parent and employee. The champions act as go-to sources of informal advice, support and signposting.
Our current champions (appointed January 2022) are Public Health's Donald Lyall and Mental Health and Wellbeing's Kirsty Dunn and staff looking for informal support can contact them directly.
What is the role of the maternity and paternity champions?
The SHW maternity and paternity champions provide informal information, support and advice on matters relating to maternity/paternity/adoption and shared parental leave and the subsequent return to work. They also sign-post staff to appropriate sources of information (e.g. availability of childcare vouchers, nursery provision and flexible working). Staff will be signposted to contact HR for detailed information relevant to their own circumstances, particularly around the relevant leave procedures and entitlements.
Any information shared with the maternity/paternity champions will be confidential, and the champions will be bound by university guidance regarding this. The role of the maternity/paternity champion will be counted within their workload model and recognised within PDR procedures.
How are maternity and paternity champions appointed?
Two volunteer staff members are appointed for two years – one with first-hand experience of maternity leave and one with first-hand experience of one of the other types of leave (paternity, adoption, or shared parental). In their role, they will liaise with the chair(s) of SHW Athena Swan mat, pat, parental and carer issues group and there will be a possibility of renewal upon discussion with the AS group.