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Athena SWAN Silver for SBS; Bronze for Henley

Athena SWAN Silver

The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) has been awarded the Athena SWAN Silver award, while Henley Business School has won the Bronze award.

SBS joins the group of five that hold the Athena SWAN Silver - the others being the School of Chemistry, Food & Pharmacy (SCFP), School of the Built Environment (SBE), School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences (SMPCS), and the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES).

Henley joins the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD) and School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences (SPCLS) in holding a Bronze award.

Earlier this year, the University received an institutional Athena SWAN award.

Athena SWAN awards recognise the advancement of gender equality in higher education. Until 2015, the award covered only the STEMM disciplines, but has since expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law departments.

The School of Biological Sciences' Athena SWAN application was led by Dr Chris Jones, its Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing.

Dr Jones said, "I am really excited about the School of Biological Sciences receiving and Athena SWAN Silver. The award acknowledges the good work and initiatives from colleagues across our School that have helped us promote greater gender equality. It is a proud moment for all of us."

Dr Philip Dash, Head of the School of Biological Sciences, said, "The Athena SWAN Silver is a real achievement for the School. My congratulations to all of the colleagues who worked extremely hard on the submission. More importantly, the award reflects the progress we have made at the School over the past few years".

The application process for an Athena SWAN award requires substantial effort, including completing a self-assessment document that reflects on quantitative and qualitative analysis, including results of surveys of staff and students, to understand where the local gender equality issues are, and progress made against any previous action plan and impacts of previous actions.

Each submission also includes, based on the self-assessment, an action plan to make real improvements in gender equality over the next four years.

Henley's Athena SWAN Bronze award followed a unanimous decision of the judging panel. The panel praised Henley’s submission, noting a number of actions the Business School has taken to ensure a more inclusive place to work and study, in particular:



  • the establishment of an institution-wide staff engagement initiative which enabled fundamental changes to working practices from staff induction to wellbeing and communication
  • staff training on how to identify and encourage potential promotion candidates
  • recent success with academic promotion in the last few years with more women than men being put forward, helping to build gender balance at professorial level
  • the introduction of mentoring for professional service staff
  • initiatives regarding student recruitment
  • Henley Women in Leadership events which champion women’s issues internally and externally
  • Henley’s partnership with the FT and 30% Club to offer Women in Leadership MBA scholarships, now in its eighth year.





John Board, Dean of Henley Business School, said: "Diversity and inclusion is very important to all of us at Henley and we are completely committed to ensuring equity and equality for staff and students alike and to creating a welcoming and flexible culture for all. We are delighted to be conferred with the Athena SWAN Bronze accreditation which has given us the opportunity to review areas of current good practice, progress we have made, and identify areas for development and improvement. We acknowledge that there is still work to do and we will continue to develop the ideas and initiatives outlined in our submission which will form a roadmap of our future activity and commitment.”

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