Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN bronze award logoLeicester Law School is committed to providing a good working environment for its staff and in 2020 was successful in achieving a Bronze award. This national award is in recognition that in addition to institution-wide policies, the department is working to promote gender equality and to identify and address challenges particular to the department and discipline.

About the Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises advancements in gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. The Charter was established in June 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 was expanded in May 2015 to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students.

The importance of Athena SWAN

The Charter examines the representation of women (and men), the progression of students into academia, the journey through career milestones and how gender may affect these areas and the working environment for all staff. We know that women are under-represented in science - the more senior the role, the greater the deficit. In some disciplines there is significant under-representation of women at all levels. Those disciplines run the risk of missing talented people it would otherwise gain and retain, and disciplines dominated by one gender are likely to have an unbalanced approach.

Photograph of the 2018–2019 Athena Swan steering committee

The Law Athena Swan Working Group (LASWG) is currently working on their submission for the Bronze Award.

The committee is a balanced group made of academics, professional services and students: Pascale Lorber, Professor Peter Cumper (co-chairs), Professor Sally Kyd (Deputy Head of School), Vicki Ball (Graduate Teaching Assistant), Diana Dukhia (lecturer), Holly Morton (School Operational Manager), Carol Douthwaite (Operations Administrator), Eugenia Caracciolo di Torella (Associate Professor and Equality and Diversity Champion), Patrick Masiyakurima (lecturer), Anthony Berry (Learning Technology, Digital and IT), Troy Lavers (Associate Professor), Paolo Vargiu (lecturer and Equality Diversity Champion), Onyeka Nwoha (PhD student representative), Sukhman Sehdev and Pedram Bani Asadi ((LLB student representative), Jaime Vasquez Castrulina (LLM student representative).

In addition to preparing the submission, LASWG organises monthly Welcome Lunches for all staff. They cover equality issues (e.g. Unconscious Bias presentation) but also support for staff (e.g. how to apply for promotion) and feedback sessions on new policies (e.g. workload model).