Athena SWAN in SHW

Our awards

Photo of Athena Swan gold, silver and bronze plaques

Athena Swan Gold renewal (2023)

Group photo of the School of Health and Wellbeing Athena Swan self assessment team in June 2023

In June 2023, Advance HE confirmed the renewal of our Athena Swan Gold award from 2023 to 2028.

This reflects the efforts that our SHW community has made to ensure that this is an inclusive place to work and study, not only with regard to gender equality but also more broadly. We are particularly grateful to those who have volunteered their time as members of our self-assessment team and working groups.

The award renewal was based on the outcomes and impact of our previous five-year action plan, led initially by Cindy Gray and then by Breda Cullen. Despite the upheaval of the pandemic, we made excellent progress on our actions and learned from regular consultations and reviews in order to formulate new actions and initiatives along the way.

Examples of our achievements include:

Julie Langan Martin will be the SHW Athena Swan Champion for 2023–24, leading the implementation of our new action plan. Drawing on a range of feedback from surveys and consultations, we have identified seven priority areas:

  1. Equitable workload modelling for academic staff
  2. Career progression for professional services staff
  3. Multisource feedback for staff in leadership roles
  4. Staff wellbeing
  5. Understanding and addressing intersections between gender and other characteristics
  6. Career development for Early Career Researchers
  7. Sustaining and expanding Athena Swan initiatives.

We will also continue our ongoing work in the areas of LGBTQ+ staff and student inclusion, mentoring for staff and postgraduate research students, supporting student wellbeing, and supporting parents and carers.

Our Athena Swan Gold renewal application 2023

Athena Swan Gold (2018)

Photo of Professor Anna Cooper holding Athena SWAN Gold awardIn March 2018, we gained a prestigious Athena Swan Gold Departmental Award (on appeal), in recognition of our commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Professor Jill Pell, Director of SHW, said:

"Professor Sally-Ann Cooper and her team have done a fantastic job in leading us to our success in achieving Athena Swan Gold. As a result of their efforts, equality and diversity are embedded in all aspects of our work ensuring the school is a great place to work for all its staff and students."

Athena Swan Silver (2015)

Asha Costigan and Audrey Dickie receiving Athena SWAN SilverIn 2015, we gained our Athena Swan Silver Award and this was renewed in 2017. ‌‌‌‌

Professor Sally-Ann Cooper, former Athena SWAN SAT Chair and Deputy Director of the School of Health and Wellbeing, said:

"We ‌are delighted to have achieved a Silver Athena Swan award recognising the work of all staff in ensuring that gender equality is embedded within the Institute, with equality of opportunity a reality rather than just an ambition."

Asha Costigan, SHW Head of Administration [left] and Audrey Dickie, SHW Admin Assistant [right], who were part of the team that compiled the Silver Award application, collected the award from Professor Dame Julia Higgins – one of the founding members of the Athena Swan Charter – on behalf of SHW's Athena Swan self assessment team. 

Athena Swan Bronze (2014)

SA Cooper collecting AS BronzeOur commitment to equal opportunities was recognised in 2014 by the awarding of Athena Swan Bronze.

It was collected from Professor Dame Julia Higgins by our Athena Swan Champion Professor Sally-Ann Cooper [right]. ‌