The School of Medicine is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and we have accepted its key principles to improve gender equality. 

 We are delighted to announce that the School now holds of a Silver Award, which recognises our significant record of activity and achievement in promoting gender equality and in addressing challenges across different disciplines.

Over the last 3 years, since securing our bronze award, we have invested much hard work and commitment to develop a range of initiatives to address gender equality, including:

  • An Academic Development Fund (up to £15K per award) to support the maintenance of academic trajectory whilst on a period of leave (e.g. carers / maternity / adoption leave), or to facilitate re-engagement at the end of the break
  • A guarantee to staff who reduce their hours that they can return to their original hours on request
  • Facilities to support mothers on their return from maternity leave so they can continue to breast feed their babies – an initiative led by members of the Self Assessment Team in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Creation of the Leeds Female Leaders Network in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (circa 700 members and growing)
  • A reciprocal agreement with the local NHS to honour terms and conditions for clinical staff on the Integrated Training Pathway to support, for example, female clinical academics taking maternity leave – one of the first medical schools in England to offer this
  • Raising awareness of what is considered unacceptable behaviour and how to report it. This is in response to a survey across the School and has been included in handbooks given to all students.

There is still much we would like to achieve and through our Steering Group we have an action plan which will be addressing further areas to improve. We have set a target to reduce the gender pay gap to 5% by 2019; to significantly increase the number of female clinical professors; to increase female staff participation in leadership and professional programmes by 30% by 2018; and for all staff to have completed online equality and diversity training by 2018.

The principles of equality in the everyday business of the School have been demonstrated through our initiatives and actively supported by all our staff, regardless of their role or gender. The award has also opened up opportunities for key NIHR funding streams which would otherwise not be available to us.

The School successful Silver Submission can be accessed here