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The Athena SWAN Awards recognise success in developing employment practices to further and support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) departments in academia.

Independent evaluations have shown that membership of the charter helps to advance women's careers and has had a positive impact on changing the culture and attitudes within member institutions.

Simply put, universities and departments that hold Athena SWAN awards are more advanced in addressing unequal representation than those that don't.

Our School values align closely to the Athena Swan principles. The School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences won the Bronze Athena Swan award in 2013 and were delighted with a successful renewal of the award in April 2017.

Our submission for renewal in 2017

In our submission for renewal, we were able to show real progress since our first award, including increased satisfaction with the promotion process and with our induction for new staff.

We have introduced core hours wherever possible so that meetings are held at times that are more accessible to staff with childcare duties.

We have designed training in unconscious bias and have implemented this as a university-wide course. Our own staff uptake on this course has increased substantially since our previous submission and will have increased further before we apply again.

We have found that interacting with the Athena SWAN process has allowed us to take a careful look at diversity and inclusion across all practices within the School, and we have used this opportunity to make changes that improve working conditions for all members of staff.

Part of this commitment has been designing and populating a workload model that is transparent about what work individual members of staff do and provides a means to partially equalise loads across staff members. We have shown a major commitment to research activity by explicitly adding hours to the workload model to provide staff with time for this activity.

We have analysed the workload model data and have shown that there are no gender differences in overall time allocated, time spent on teaching or on research across gender.

Our action plan

Our future action plan has been put together on the basis of wide consultation with staff. Many good ideas were captured from this process, including:

  • ways to attract more male students to our undergraduate programmes
  • ways to attract more female students to our PhD programmes
  • to include a commitment to flexible working by adding a statement about this to all job adverts
  • to work on increasing the satisfaction of female staff with mentoring and networking opportunities.

We will be working actively to implement these plans over the next four years. For now, you can see our submitted Athena SWAN plan (PDF, 2 MB) and our progress against our Athena SWAN action plan (PDF, 0.2 MB)

Flexible working

We're enthusiastic about flexible working and keen to consider flexible working requests from our staff. 

Parental leave

Information for staff who are about to take maternity, parental, shared parental, childbirth or adoption leave.

Policies and useful links

Read more about how our School and University support staff health and wellbeing.
Athena SWAN Silver Award