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Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to the culture of the Department of History. Promoting these values is essential to create working and learning environments that allow every student and member of staff to feel welcome and to reach their full potential.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Our committee was formed in 2017 to drive our efforts to create a more equal, diverse and inclusive environment for work and study. It was set up following a successful application for an Athena Swan Bronze Award and includes staff and student members.

Our work aligns with the University's equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives, which focus on race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity and disability inclusion. 

Our approach is informed by ongoing research into EDI issues, including reports produced by the Royal Historical Society ( 

It's been great to see colleagues and students working together on EDI issues. We're proud of what we’ve achieved together so far, but we are also aware that there is always more that can be done. 

Dr Jon Howlett, EDI Committee Chair 

Olivia Wyatt, co-founder of the Margins to Centre network and University of York alumnus

Student-led initiatives 

Our students are central to our EDI initiatives. This includes working with staff to decolonise and diversify our curriculum. 

Since 2020, we've been especially proud to support Margins to Centre (, the UK’s only undergraduate-run research conference. It focuses on the intersecting themes of women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, BAME history and histories of disability.

Our diverse curriculum

Our courses are global in scope. We're committed to raising questions with students about Western-centric narratives and the historical roots of inequality. Explore the diversity of our curriculum: 

We promote inclusive learning in curriculum design, course materials and in the practice of teaching. We foster a welcoming, tolerant and inclusive environment in lectures and seminars. 

There are difficult questions to ask about the past and how it informs our present and future, but the conversation at York is a positive one. Our students go out into the world not only with a better understanding of the historical roots of inequality, but also a determination to find solutions that will benefit us all. 

Professor Laura Stewart, Head of Department 

Diversity in research

EDI principles inform our research. Colleagues write, publish and engage with the public on a vast range of historical subjects, highlighting the experiences of those previously ignored or excluded from historical accounts. 

History colleagues were instrumental in setting up the following networks and centres:

We're particularly committed to supporting research initiatives that engage with topics that challenge preconceptions of what 'should' be studied.

Professor Simon Ditchfield, Chair of the Departmental Research Committee

Our commitments

We’ve developed a range of initiatives across the department, as well as actively engaging with University-wide initiatives to support our staff and students.

  • Gender equality: We’ve made gender equality a priority in all aspects of our work. Our efforts were recognised with an Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2017 (renewed in 2023). 
  • Race and equality: Our staff and students come from a range of backgrounds and nationalities. We thrive as a result of our diverse community.
  • LGBTQ+: We’re dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ students and staff as part of our efforts to create a respectful community in which everyone can be themselves.  
  • Trans and non-binary: We provide a welcoming environment for people to be who they are, irrespective of their gender identity, and we value their unique contributions.
  • Disability: We work closely with the University's Disability Services team to help make sure our learning and working environments are accessible to everyone.
  • Mental health: We have a dedicated Student Experience and Support Officer who provides tailored support to students experiencing difficulties.
  • Parents and carers: We fully endorse University policies that enable our staff to work in family-friendly ways. Students who are parents or carers also receive additional support from the University and us throughout study. 
  • Widening participation: We believe the study of history should be open to all. The University offers a range of outreach schemes for 16-18 year old students. A number of scholarships and bursaries are also available.
  • Mentoring and coaching: Mentoring schemes are available for staff and students. We pair new undergraduate students with second or third year mentors to help them find their feet at university. 

Supporting staff and students

At York, we have various sources of support and information about equality, diversity and inclusion.

Regular events are held to raise awareness of present-day barriers and highlight ongoing work to remove such challenges across the University. 

University-wide initiatives

Get involved

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Policies and training

Key contacts