Accessibility statement

Gender equality

AdvanceHE’s Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) and in professional and support roles. The rebranded charter now addresses gender equality more broadly, including issues affecting trans and non-binary staff and students.

In 2024, the Department of Archaeology received an Athena Swan Silver Award, following our 2018 Bronze Award, in recognition of our ongoing commitment to gender equality. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly in our strong female leadership, as no other Archaeology Department in the UK has as many or as high a proportion of female professors. As part of our application, the Department developed a detailed Athena Swan Action Plan (PDF , 12,707kb).

Our departmental Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, which brings together academic staff, professional and support staff, and undergraduate and postgraduate students, is currently working to implement the Action Plan. You can check our progress under ‘Achievements’.

Our Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team is chaired by Dr Colleen Morgan ( and Dr Peter Schauer (

Our aims and achievements

Our aims

We aim to make archaeology more inclusive and provide support to enable staff and students to feel part of our community. We are committed to acknowledging and tackling all forms of discrimination.

Our core values were co-developed with staff and adopted in August 2020:

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion are at our core
  • We believe in creating the right structures to facilitate wellbeing
  • We want everyone to feel supported and valued
  • We strive to empower everyone to achieve their full potential
  • We are enthusiastic, proactive and innovative
  • We aim for a sustainable future

Our achievements

  • We are now a department with a majority of women across students and staff, with an even distribution across all levels of roughly 60%. This is an outstanding achievement in a profession such as Archaeology with a notoriously “leaky pipeline” with diminishing numbers of women at higher levels of achievement.
  • In 2018, we had one female professor, and now we have eight. No other Archaeology department in the country has such a large number, or proportion, of female Professors.
  • We closed the achievement gap amongst our UG and PGT students, with male and female students receiving good degrees in proportion to the overall gender proportion of each cohort.
  • We have appointed a Director of EDI and EDI Champions and embedded EDI into all our meetings and policy.
  • Female academic researchers receive a sabbatical year after maternity leave, and there are support groups for peri/menopause, LGBTQ+, carers and other intersectional communities in the department.

Our Archaeology mission, values and ethos statement (2022) emphasises: Equality, diversity and inclusion are at our core.

Our values have created an environment where our community thrives. We are proud of our departmental culture and believe that all members of our community feel supported, valued and can achieve their full potential. Our current actions examine workload and wellbeing, building community, intersectionality, and equality of outcomes, and can be viewed within our Athena Swan action plan.