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Athena SWANN

Athena SWAN

Our commitment to gender equality

Leeds Beckett University is committed to gender equality and has been a member of the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality since June 2014.

The Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The charter recognises the work that Institutions do to address gender equality in relation to representation, student progression into academia, staff career progression and the working environment.
The Charter is awarded at both institutional and department level through Bronze, Silver or Gold awards. In May 2017 Leeds Beckett was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze charter from the Equality Challenge Unit.

The importance of our award

Achieving an Athena SWAN award has been found to have a hugely positive impact in relation to changing culture and attitudes, improvements in career satisfaction, creating opportunities for training and development, enhancing knowledge of promotion processes and achieving fairness in the allocation of workload. These benefits have been found to extend to men as well as women, and also to those working in administrative and technical roles.

Athena Swan Bronze University Award Submission PDF

Plus Icon Athena SWAN Principles

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.

1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:

  • The relative under representation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
  • The particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)

4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

Plus Icon Leeds Beckett Family Friendly Policies
Our University understands that many members of staff have family responsibilities and recognises the demands on work life balance. We therefore offer a range of family friendly policies and practices which aim to help staff to manage the balance.

Maternity and Adoption Leave

Our University’s Maternity and Adoption policies provide eligible employees with statutory and additional contractual benefits. Women who meet this qualifying criterion are entitled to take up to a maximum of 63 weeks maternity leave. Employees who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to occupational maternity/adoption pay. For further information, please refer to our HR Policies and Procedures A-Z.

Shared Parental Leave

The purpose of shared parental leave is to enable parents to share maternity or adoption leave in the year after their child’s birth or placement for adoption, giving families more choice and flexibility over their childcare. Parents can choose to take shared parental leave separately or at the same time and the leave can be taken as one continuous period, or may be taken in smaller blocks of leave, interspersed with time at work. Employees who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to occupational shared parental pay. For further information, please refer to our HR Policies and Procedures A-Z.

Paternity/Partner Leave

Eligible employees may take up to a maximum of two weeks paternity/partner leave with full pay. For further information, please refer to our Paternity/Partner Leave Policy.

Time off for Public Duties and Special Leave

There is provision to request paid time off for a range of public duties and special circumstances including dependants leave.

Flexible Working

Our Flexible Working policy sets out employees’ statutory rights in relation to requesting flexible working. Flexible working describes a type of working arrangement which gives some degree of flexibility on how long, where and when employees work. The flexibility can be in terms of working time, working location or the pattern of working. For further information, please refer to our Flexible Working Policy.

Childcare Vouchers

Our Childcare Voucher scheme is available to employees. Childcare vouchers are a government initiative to help working parents pay for registered childcare. The vouchers are taken from your salary before your tax and National Insurance deductions, therefore offering a financial saving.

For further information, please refer to our Childcare Vouchers webpage.

Plus Icon Aurora

We currently have a cohort of 17 women on the Aurora Programme.  We will seek applications for the next programme in early 2018. For further information, which includes the nomination process, see our Leadership Programme Guide.

The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has published our first year report tracking the careers and aspirations of women working in higher education which reveals important evidence of the appetite for leadership and support available to women in the sector.

Using data from over 1,500 women from across the UK and Ireland, the report offers an unparalleled opportunity to understand perceptions and lived experience of leadership for women in the sector.

Part of a longer five year study, Onwards and Upwards, the first year report outlines the positive impact of the role of senior leaders on the happiness and wellbeing of women.

News and Blog Posts

Plus Icon International Women’s Day : Women in the City

In conjunction with celebrations for International Women's Day, we would like to invite you to a special event celebrating Women in the City.

Wednesday 8 March 2017, 10.30am-16:30, RB 412, Rose Bowl, City Campus
Following the event, there will be a reception from 16:30-18:00 in Portland entrance

Tickets can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-in-the-city-tickets-31969863723

This event is hosted by the Women and the Built Environment Research Cluster in the School of Built Environment and Engineering, and supported by the University's Gender Forum and the Equality & Diversity Team.

The event brings together talks, films, performances and exhibitions from a range of women: creative practitioners, built environment practitioners, academics and students, who share an interest in women and the city.

The day will celebrate the contribution of women as makers of the built environment, and cast a spotlight on women as inhabitants of urban spaces. It is about giving voice to the creativity and lived experiences of women in the city.

Presenters include:

  • Catherine Bertola, Artist who creates installations in response to particular sites, collections and historic contexts
  • Catherine Croft, Director of the Twentieth Century Society and Architectural Journalist
  • Claire Harbottle, Photographer, Artist and Independent Midwife
  • The Feminist Archive North, host to early feminist collections
  • Vanessa Kisuule, Poet and winner of Poetry Slam 2014

Attendance is free and all are welcome, so please pass on to colleagues, students, friends and family.

Plus Icon Award entry submitted
Leeds Beckett University has now submitted its application for the Athena SWAN Bronze charter status. Read more here.
Plus Icon Introducing Athena SWAN
As part of our University's commitment to gender equality, we are aiming to achieve the Athena SWAN equality charter, which is designed to support institutions to move forward in their equality and diversity work. Here, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) Professor Andrew Slade, sets out the benefits it will bring to our University.
Plus Icon Leeds Beckett coaching workshops to support Britain's sporting future
Experts at Leeds Beckett University are set to support the government’s new Sporting Future strategy as they deliver workshops to national governing bodies around developing a culture of diversity and wellbeing for sport coaches. Read more here.
Plus Icon New research to tackle the future of English football coach education
Researchers at Leeds Beckett University have been commissioned by the English Football Association (FA) to lead a groundbreaking new three-year, £30,000, study into the experiences of women coaches, investigating how they can inform strategies to boost the numbers of coaches from under-represented groups. Read more here.
Plus Icon Leeds Beckett aims to get boys into healthcare

Local Leeds school boys had a hands-on introduction to health sciences at Leeds Beckett University as they attended the first annual Boys into Health day. Read more here.

Plus Icon Tackling discrimination in sport
Following our discrimination in sport conference in September, organiser Dr Dan Kilvington blogs about the event and why we need to keep talking about the subject. Read more here.
Plus Icon Women sports coaches close to burnout
Whilst the UK is working to develop the world’s leading sports coaching system by 2016, the system is currently highly male dominated, with women making up only 28% of the profession and very few women reach senior levels. Read more here.
Plus Icon Professor Claire Surr on gender equality
Professor of Dementia Studies, Claire Surr, offers her thoughts on gender equality and the benefits of our university aiming for Athena Swan status. Read more here.
Plus Icon Professor Colin Pattinson on gender equality
Professor Colin Pattinson, Dean of the School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering, shares his thoughts on gender equality. Read more here
Plus Icon Professor Alan White on gender equality
In the third of our staff interviews focusing on gender equality, Professor Alan White, Professor of Men's Health in our School of Health And Community Studies, shares his thoughts. Read more here.


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Feb 21

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Feb 21

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