Accessibility statement

Gender equality

The Department of Health Sciences strives to provide a positive working environment that enables our staff and students to contribute fully to the life of the Department, to achieve their full potential, and to flourish.

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.

The Department of Health Sciences recognises the importance of ensuring equality and fairness for all our staff and students. We are proud to have developed an Athena SWAN working group that is promoting a culture of equality within the Department. Within this, we recognise the importance of recruiting, encouraging and retaining women at all stages of their career. The group is striving to ensure that equal opportunities exist in every aspect of Departmental working.

The Department successfully achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in 2013 and 2017, and the application for a new award will be submitted in 2021.

Athena Swan Working Group (ASWG)

The Athena Swan Working Group oversees the work of the Athena Swan Action plan to support Equality and Diversity initiatives in the Department of Health Sciences. It brings together Senior Managers, our Champions who lead diversity work in particular areas, and staff and student representatives.

This working group meets monthly to:

  • Review staff and student data to better understand areas of under-representation and to document our progress towards greater equality and diversity.
  • Better understand the lived experiences of staff and students within our department, for example through surveys and focus groups.
  • Devise new actions to support Equality and Diversity and to address areas of concern.
  • Support outreach work that can address areas of under-representation in Health Sciences.
  • Deliver actions to support the career progression of Early Career Researchers, Professional and Support staff and academic staff.
  • Deliver our Athena SWAN action plan working towards gender equality. We currently hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for this work.
  • Build broad support within the department for E&D initiatives, for example through staff training and community and social events.

Our Champions and representatives


  • E&D Champion: leads on Race Equality and inter-departmental initiatives.
  • LGBTQ+ Champion: provides support for staff and students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer +.
  • Wellbeing Champion: works to support students and staff in areas such as mental health and work-life balance.
  • Careers and Employability Champion: works to support contract research staff and promote progression of students from undergraduate to postgraduate courses.
  • Pregnancy, parenting, maternity and paternity Champion: works to ensure the department is family-friendly; supports those returning for a period of leave for caring responsibilities.
  • Flexible working Champion: works to support those who want to work in a flexible manner to ensure that flexible working policies are adhered to in a consistent manner across all staff groups in the department.
  • Data Champion: to support the work of the ASWG and in the interrogation of data to support the AS Action plan.
  • PhD Champion: to support current and prospective PhD students in the department and promote equality of gender and inclusiveness for this group of people.


Our representatives support the work of the ASWG for all members of staff and students within the department. We currently have representatives to support work collaboratively with our Early Career Research Forum, mentoring for staff interested in exploring a PhD, human resources, and professional support staff.

At an external level we also support representation with the University ASW Steering Group, Hull York Medical School and ASW at the Institute of Health Sciences at Leeds University.

For more information contact Amanda Perry (

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