Athena SWAN

The Athena Swan charter recognises efforts made to ensure a positive environment for women working in science; that they are represented at all levels, their contribution, skills and experience are recognised, and that they are retained and promoted appropriately.

We acknowledge the importance of equal participation of women in a traditionally male-dominated subject and are dedicated to improving the representation of women at all levels. As an Athena SWAN Bronze award holder the School of Chemistry is dedicated to the continual improvement of our working practices to ensure a positive working environment for all staff and students.

Download our latest Athena SWAN Department Award Application (PDF, 2,826kB).


Our commitment to improving equality within the School of Chemistry has resulted in the following achievements:

  • A growth in the proportion of female members of the School at all levels (undergraduate, postgraduate and academic staff) including an increase in the number of female professors, since 2013.
  • Ensuring inclusion of leading female academics in a gender-balanced speaker programme.
  • Introduction of an annual postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) research symposium and inclusion of PDRAs in the School’s seminar programmes with the goal of 50:50 male and female presenters.
  • EDI training for all staff.
  • Specific unconscious bias training for all recruiters.
  • Hosting a Diversity in STEM conference organised by FUSION, the undergraduate student Chemistry Society, involving discussions on LGBT+, BAME and gender issues in STEM careers, for staff and students from Schools in the Faculties of Science and Engineering.
  • Hosting a conference on Being BME in STEM and using the points raised during the discussion to suggest strategies of positive action to be taken to build a more nurturing environment within the University for BME students and staff in STEM subjects. 


We are continuing to improve and develop our practices and our aims include:

  • To continue to increase the percentage of female staff in all categories and to have 30% female research staff by 2022.
  • To improve further the proportion of women among our undergraduate and postgraduate students with the goal of 45% female undergraduates by 2022.
  • EDI and unconscious bias training for all postgraduates, PDRAs and staff who teach.
  • To ensure our equality practices cover not just gender but all areas of diversity including race, disability and LGBT+.
  • To further promote involvement with EDI issues and activities within and outside the School.

Report and Support

Bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, assault and discrimination are not acceptable. Students and staff can report something anonymously or get advice.

Acceptable Workplace Behaviour Advisory Service

The University has a network of trained volunteers who provide an informal advisory service to staff who feel they may be experiencing unacceptable behaviour, bullying or harassment at work. The Advisors help people accused of unacceptable behaviour as well as those who are unhappy with behaviour.

Contact us

Please note the School of Chemistry Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee meets six times a year. If you have any questions concerning EDI or anything you would like to raise with the committee please email

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