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University awarded Silver Athena Swan

31 Jan 2024

Silver award recognises advancement of gender equality and our work to embed inclusivity across the University

Athena Swan silver logo

We are proud to announce that following the submission of our application in November 2023 we have been awarded a Silver Athena Swan award. 

The Athena Swan Charter supports us in addressing gender inequalities and helps us foster greater inclusivity for students and staff in all disciplines and roles, irrespective of sex and gender identity. 

This Silver award recognises the progress and impact we have made towards gender equality and endorses our future plans that will help us overcome remaining challenges and embed inclusivity for all our people across the University. 

We recognise the sustained contribution that many of you, especially those in our University, Faculty and School Athena Swan self-assessment teams have made to advance gender equality, without which we would not have achieved this award. We sincerely thank you all for your efforts.  

Our application  

Our Athena Swan application was based on a critical self-assessment of where we are now, what has worked, what has been less successful, and what steps we now need to take to achieve gender equality.  

We gathered evidence through surveys and conversations with people from across the University and wider community. We also conducted thorough student and staff data analysis. 

These steps are vital to our community-led approach to gender equality and to ensure that Athena Swan is an effective mechanism for meaningful change. 

Action plan 

We are committed to furthering gender equality within and beyond our University.  

Our progressive action plan has been co-created with our community and is aligned with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. We will consult our community throughout our five- year action plan so that we address ongoing gender equality challenges whilst also being watchful for emerging issues.  

Within our action plan we have agreed and assigned actions enabling us to track progress, ensure accountability and accelerate change.  

What next?  

Despite making significant progress, we have not achieved gender equality across our organisation. We know positive impacts don’t reach everyone and that gendered issues persist. We are also aware that there is a need for balance in considering issues specific to different characteristics and we are committed to taking an intersectional approach.  

We encourage you all to take part in our self-assessment process so that progress is shaped by the diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of our people. It is only through collective, community wide involvement and action that we will be able to fully embed change, shape an inclusive culture and achieve gender-equality. 

We are looking forward to continuing to work together to achieve our equality, diversity and inclusion ambitions.  

Nalin Thakker, Vice President for Social Responsibility 

Rachel Cowen, Professor of Academic and Researcher Development, Academic Lead for Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality and Co-chair of the Athena Swan self-assessment team (SAT)  

Banji Adewumi MBE, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion   

Francesca Guratsky, Charter Mark Coordinator 

More information  

If you would like to feedback or require further information please contact