Athena SWAN

Healthcare Athena SWAN Working Group January 2018


The School of Healthcare has been a member of the Athena SWAN Charter since 2012 and we are committed its key principles to improve gender equality.  As a research intensive organisation and one of the few large programmes of nursing in a Russell Group University, we face two major gender challenges which underpin our strategy. First, we recruit small numbers of men to undergraduate health programmes, a national problem and one in which School staff are leading on national solutions. Second, we have a leaky pipeline in terms of female academic career development from junior grades to more senior roles.

We are seeing evidence of the impact of our strategy, particularly in terms of the leaky pipeline. Since our last application we have invested significantly in staff, funded 7 staff through doctoral studies (6 women: 1 man), increased the number of females in academic (teaching and research) roles from 26 to 35, and have more women successfully applying for promotion.

The school has delivered on several initiatives which are sector leading:

  • The development of a joint clinical academic pathway for early career clinical academic midwives between HEI and the NHS, the first in the UK
  • An innovative reciprocal agreement with the Regional NHS to honour Terms and Conditions for health professionals on a clinical academic career pathway
  • The development of a bespoke mentorship programme for academics who are clinically focused, which has resulted in four-fold uptake of mentorship within the School.

Committee Members  

The School of Healthcare established the Athena SWAN Working Group (ASWG) in 2010 to champion not only the advancement of women`s careers in the School, but promote work-life balance.  The ASWG is a sub-group of the School’s Equality and Inclusivity (E&I) Committee, in addition, the ASWG is also the Self-Assessment Team (SAT) for the School.

Members Role
Abdul Kapdi Operations Manager

Andrea Nelson Head of School (stepping down 31/12/17), Deputy Faculty Dean and Professor of Wound Healing
Angela O’Keefe School Business Manager 
Anne-Maree Keenan Professor of Applied Health Science
Georgina Daly

SES Officer 
Janet Hirst Deputy Head of School & Associate Professor in Maternal care. Newly appointed Head of School from 1/1/18
Joanne Lay Associate Director of Student Education Quality
Judith Bell Faculty Human Resources Manager
Kevin Bowser Undergraduate Student Nurse
Netalie Shloim Lecturer
Nicola Sherbourne-Wilson Senior Secretary to the Professoriate and Academic Unit Directors
Peter Tennant University Academic Fellow in Healthcare Research
Philip Esterhuizen Lecturer/Associate Director of Student Education – Curriculum and Assessment
Sue Kilminster Principal Research Fellow and Faculty Lead for Health Professions Education Research
Suzanne Banks Research Manager for School of Healthcare
Tim Knighton Business and Facilities Co-ordinator
Tomasina Stacey Lecturer in Maternal Care

If you would like to join the ASWG, please email Anne-Maree Keenan

ASWG Members pictured below:  Back Row: Netalie Shloim, Peter Tennant, Tim Knighton, Judith Bell, Nicola Sherbourne-Wilson, Janet Hirst, Anne-Maree Keenan

Front: Georgina Daly, Andrea Nelson, Abdul Kapdi, Angie O’Keefe, Suzanne Banks

Healthcare Athena SWAN Working Group January 2018

Message from the Head of School, Janet Hirst

Janet Hirst"I am delighted to offer my letter of support as the incoming Head of the School of Healthcare.  As Chair of the School’s Equality and Inclusion Committee and a member of the ASWG, I have been enthusiastically involved in the development of this Athena Swan Silver application. 

A great University thrives with diverse student and staff bodies and this means proactively removing barriers to participation in study, as well as professional and academic life.  This application charts our journey towards an inclusive and supportive environment for all: our AS strategy is fully embedded into the business of the School, facilitated by governance and organisational changes to support intelligent, flexible careers, to address equality and inclusion."

Our Initiatives

Flexible Working Arrangements

We are pleased to be able to launch new flexible working arrangements which are in addition to and complement the University’s arrangements. The aim of this policy is to allow all staff to reduce their hours with a guarantee of returning to their original contracted hours within a five year period. This policy provides additional benefits to that offered by the University’s provision – it does not replace any current arrangements. The document can be downloaded here.

Purchasing Additional Annual Leave

This scheme allows staff to purchase additional leave days. These can either be taken as a period of unpaid leave with the proportion of salary to be deducted in the month the leave is taken, or as a number of days leave to be available as additional holiday throughout the year and ‘repaid’ through salary deduction on a monthly basis. All staff should have received information regarding this in early September. Any questions regarding this should be directed to Angie Chatham in the Faculty HR team.

Return to Work Guidelines (following an extended absence)

This offers guidance for managers on supporting staff returning from maternity leave, long term sickness or other periods of long term absence. The document can be downloaded here.

Female Leaders Network

The female leaders network (Leeds Women in Healthcare and Clinical Academic Leadership Network) was launched in October 2014 and meets twice a year. The network “aims to bring together like minded people with the long term aim to develop, build and maintain strong female leaders across the health care and clinical academic sector in Leeds. We wish to inspire women, by building on confidence, capabilities and contacts, through linking in with other local and national initiatives and developing relationships with established female leaders’ networks from other sectors.”

The network is well established, and the Executive, together with leaders and managers across the Faculty should encourage female leaders, and potential future leaders to join and actively engage in the network. You can read more about the network here.

Academic Development Fund

The aim of this funding (up to £15k per person) is to enable academic staff to maintain their academic trajectory and advancement of their academic career whilst on a period of leave or to enable them to re-engage with it at the end of the break. It is intended that the additional funding will enable staff to maintain and develop their research and professional career whilst on leave.  Academic staff can apply for this financial to provide support during  OR following a period of maternity, parental, adoption, shared parental leave or a career break taken to undertake caring responsibilities.

More information can be found hereDownload the application form here.

Get in touch

We would welcome all feedback so do get in touch with any comments, suggestions or questions to Ruth Buller.