Faculty of Environment

Athena SWAN project

Progress Update:

The Faculty of Environment has been awarded the Athena SWAN bronze award for our work on advancing gender equality across the three schools. The Athena SWAN charter and awards seek to identify, promote and share good practice in advancing equality across genders in academia. This means analysing the journey from undergraduate applications through postgraduate study right up to the recruitment and retention of professorial staff and identifying how to improve.

Commenting on the success Professor Greg Marsden (submission coordinator) said "This is a great achievement, which recognises some of the good practice that already happens across the Faculty in making it a more diverse student population and inclusive workplace. However, we have also identified more that can be done from the details of organising field trips to enhanced support for those returning from parental leave."

The Faculty submission is available to download.

Background to the Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET).

The following principles were agreed:

  • To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation
  • To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation
  • The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine
  • The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address
  • The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises
  • There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. The scheme recognises organisations which seek to put in place effective action plans to tackle these key issues.

The University of Leeds holds a bronze award and several other faculties across the University now hold bronze and silver awards. Further information can be found on the University's Athena Swan webpage.

The Faculty of Environment Self Assessment Team members are:

Further Information:

If you would like to get involved or contribute to the work of the group then please contact Jo Squires; j.m.squires@adm.leeds.ac.uk or Professor Greg Marsden; G.R.Marsden@its.leeds.ac.uk.

You are encouraged to download and display posters publicising the Faculty Athena SWAN work:

For more information about the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science please visit their website.

Useful links and resources: