Athena SWAN

AthenaSWAN Leeds award


The School of Healthcare achieved a Bronze Athena SWAN award in April 2012 and was one of only three schools in the UK to receive an award of this nature in recognition of its work in supporting women in Science. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research.

The University became a Charter member in 2008 and achieved a Bronze University Award in 2009 which has since been successfully renewed November 2012.  The Bronze Award submission includes an ambitious 3-year Action Plan aimed at improving the prospects for supporting and developing the careers of women in SET and it is the University’s intention to apply for a Silver Award November 2015.

Silver Award a passport to Funding

Dame Sally Davies, Director General of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health/NHS announced the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will no longer shortlist any NHS/University partnership for Biomedical Research Centres and Biomedical Research Unit funding unless the academic department holds at least a silver award from the Athena Swan Charter for Women in Science. 

The next funding round commences 2015 giving those HEIs which draw from such funding schemes a window within which they can work towards silver award status.  Although holding Athena Swan awards are not currently a formal requirement to enable departments to access grant funding (other than NIHR) the Research Councils UK (RCUK) is reviewing the overall effectiveness of Higher Education Institutions’ approaches to Equality and Diversity at a departmental and institutional level through its Audit and Assurance Programme, and this position may change. Read the media release.

School of Healthcare Self Assessment Team  

School of Healthcare Athena SWAN Bronze awardHolding an award at University level allows individual Schools or Faculties to apply for their own awards.  The SoH Athena SWAN self assessment team was established in 2010 chaired by Professor Freshwater, School of Healthcare Athena Swan Lead and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Staff and Organisational Effectiveness.  A number of staff were involved in scoping existing support and development processes developing an action plan and gathering evidence to identify improvement options.  The School of Healthcare achieved a Bronze award April 2012 and was one of only three schools in the UK to receive an award of this nature in recognition of its work in supporting women in Science. Prof Freshwater is pictured centre, with team members Ms Angie O'Keefe, Faculty of Medicine and Health Equality and Diversity Lead, left and Ms Kathy Aveyard, University of Leeds Equality and Diversity Manager, on the right, with the School's award. 

Silver award submission completed

The School of Healthcare has made a silver award submission to Athena SWAN and has formed the following self assessment team, chaired by Professor Freshwater. The SAT has retained some of the original members but due to staff changes has some new members with the aim of ensuring a diverse membership, senior level engagement, a balance of men and women at different career stages and with personal experience of work-life balances.

Athena SWAN Self Assessment Team
Members  Role
 Professor Andrea Nelson Chair;  Head of School of Healthcare
 Ms Angela O’Keefe Equality and Inclusion Lead 
 Dr Jane Cahill SoH Senior Research Fellow and University Athena Swan Manager
 Dr Gary Mountain SoH Associate Professor
 Gary Morris Nursing Lecturer
 Dr Ian Holt Nursing Lecturer
 Ms Alison Hull PhD Scholarship student
 Ms Judith Bell Faculty of Medicine and Health HR Manager
 Ms Stephanie Steels Social work Lecturer
 Dr Jill Edwards Research representative
 Ms Zarina Sutton  University of Leeds Athena SWAN Administrative Support Officer

The SOH Self Assessment Team through has reviewed the quantitative and qualitative data in relation to current practices, highlighting good and innovative practice and recommending action where necessary in order to promote gender equality.

The School has now applied for Silver status and you can  read the School’s Silver Award submission here.

For more information please contact the following SAT members Dr Jane Cahill Athena SWAN manager or Ms Angela O’Keefe School of Healthcare Business Manager and Faculty of Medicine and Health Equality lead

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