Contribute your thoughts at our ideas sessions in July and August

The University was founded on the principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all. However, our recent gender pay gap report reminds us that we still have a low number of women in more senior roles.

Addressing this gap is a strategic priority for the University. We want ideas and input from all staff groups to help shape our plans, and invite you to contribute through ideas sessions that will run in July and August.

Sign up for a session


Since 2008, we have measured and monitored equal pay, producing reports to inform our equality, diversity and inclusion action planning. While generally we do not have equal pay concerns (ie men and women doing the same job being paid the same), there is a 19.3% gap between men's and women's average earnings.

The gap is caused by a lower number of women in more senior roles. We have developed plans to support, encourage and facilitate women to progress to a higher level. This agenda is embedded within the new Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Strategy [pdf] and our ongoing commitment to the Athena Swan Charter.

However, we recognise that we need to be imaginative and innovative in removing the barriers which prevent more women progressing into senior roles, particularly at a senior professorial level.

We need your ideas

We want to gather ideas and input from all staff groups to help inform our Athena Swan and gender pay action plans. We invite you to attend sessions and share your ideas. We are particularly interested in the views of BAME female colleagues across all groups.

Areas we particularly wish to hear from you on are:

  • career enablers: how to support women's progression, particularly into reader, professorial or senior management roles
  • career support: how we can encourage women to use the training, mentoring, role modelling and personal development opportunities we offer
  • policies: what works well, and where could we be more innovative in our policies (eg to support carers, flexible working practices, diversity in recruitment)

Ideas sessions

Each session will focus on a different staff group (there are up to 20 places available at each session):

  • Female professors /senior professors / readers
    9th July 10am-11.30am G/N/045A - James College Nucleus
  • Female HoDs both past and present
    10th July 12:30am-2pm H/G17 - Heslington Hall *Updated time*
  • Female academics in grades 7-8
    17th July 2.00pm-3.30pmG/N/002 - James College Nucleus
  • Early and mid-career researchers / teaching
    19th July 10am-11.30am H/G19, Heslington Hall
  • Female professional support in grades 1-6 (*now fully booked*)
    1st August 10am-11.30am H/G 09 Heslington Hall
  • Female professional support in grades 7-8 (*now fully booked*)
    6th August 2pm -3.30pm H/G 09 Heslington Hall

Sign up for a session

Although these groups are the demographics we are currently concentrating on, we are looking for staff from all groups to offer their contributions and opinions.

We appreciate that people are often on holiday in July and August. However, it is difficult to find a time suitable for all staff. Depending on attendance, we may run further sessions in the autumn if necessary. If you'd like to share your views but you can't make the relevant date or if the session is fully booked, please register your interest on the sign-up sheet and we will make sure you are kept informed. If you have any other questions, please contact Mel Colwill in the Learning and Development Team at

Deborah Smith University Athena Swan Lead
Joss Ivory Director of Human Resources