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Diversity and Inclusion

The School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES) - comprising the Departments of Archaeology, and Geography and Environmental Science - aims to create a supportive, fair and inclusive working and learning environment for the benefit of all its students and staff.

The School has worked actively to improve wellbeing, equality and diversity. We promote flexible working and good working practices, mentoring and coaching, mandatory unconscious bias training for those involved in recruitment, and offer support in relation to both promotions and professional behaviour.

The School holds an Athena SWAN Silver award. 

Our Terms of Reference

  • Organise events that celebrate diversity and work to create an inclusive environment within SAGES.
  • Undertake projects and initiatives to investigate and/or address issues of diversity and inclusion in SAGES.
  • Coordinate efforts to apply for or contribute to applications for benchmark diversity and inclusion awards such as Athena SWAN, Stonewall, Race Equality Charter Mark.
  • Oversee the implementation of the Athena SWAN action plan and other relevant action plans emerging from applications for recognition.
  • Advise the School Management Board on decisions and/or actions which have implications for diversity and inclusion.
  • Liaise with SAGES UG, PGT, and PGR students via the relevant committees (such as SSPG and the School PGR Committee).
  • Support SAGES Programme Directors, DTLs, DATs, Recruitment and Admissions Officers, and Exams Officers to review diversity data and experience.
  • Liaise with other Schools, particularly through participation in the University D&I Community of Practice, and external organisations including Royal Geographical Society (RGS) to share best practice.

Special Projects and Initiatives

Staff and students have undertaken several special projects and initiatives over the past couple of decades to support wellbeing, diversity, and inclusion across the school. We showcase key examples on this page:

Decolonising the Curriculum

In 2022/23, the University of Reading's Partnerships in Learning & Teaching (PLanT) project funded a team led by Prof. Hong Yang, comprising both domestic and international students. This project has decolonised the curriculum within the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, using the Air Pollution module as an example. This collaborative effort involved staff and students in diversifying the reading list, assessment methods, and learning content. The students praised the module for presenting a wide array of perspectives. This work was presented at the Decolonising Teaching and Learning Environments Showcase during Black History Month in October 2023. This project has also been recognised and included in the University of Reading's Decolonising the Curriculum resource 2023

Enabled fieldwork

This ongoing project seeks to break down any barriers, physical or mental, that prevent our students and staff from being fully included within and enjoying fieldwork. The goals are to (1) promote inclusivity in fieldwork; create a place for discussion about issues and concerns; and (3) provide information and resources to enable everyone to partake in fieldwork. You can contact the project at, and find out more about what Enabled Fieldwork means for our students from Jenny Harris and Jonathan Charmley.

Race equality review and focus groups

In 2021 we held focus groups with masters, undergraduate, and PhD students to help staff understand how students experience the SAGES learning environment through the lens of race and recommend changes to the curriculum and environment that would drive positive change. 

The work was led by Alice Mpofu-Coles, Avril Maddrell, Mohammad Badsha Hossain, Gundula Mueldner, Robyn Woronka, Selma Benyovszky, and Tom Sizmur.

A preliminary summary of activities was published in The Racial Justice in Teaching and Learning Collection.

The final report contained 21 recommendations which were accepted by the SAGES School Management Board and was showcased by the university.

Working Sagely

In 2015 we published our ‘Working Sagely’ document on ‘Values for Working Together and Professional Behaviours in SAGES’.

The ‘Values for Working Together’ are a guide to behaviours that the University of Reading will recognise, reward and endorse. They inform our approach to promotions, Performance Development Reviews and rewarding staff.

Working Sagely: Values for Working Together and Professional Behaviours in SAGES (PDF).

Gender and fieldwork

In 2014/15 we embarked on a year-long project to examine the gendered experiences of fieldwork, ranging from our undergraduate students on field-classes to postgraduate students and staff doing field research. Our intention was to capture what it means to be a SAGES fieldworker in the 21st century and understand the commonalities and differences between male and female participation in fieldwork.

A record of activities undertaken is posted on our SAGE(S) Advice: Fieldwork, Gender & Careers blog site, and is in the process of being updated, including attention to transgender and gendered experience shaped by intersectional identities including disability, neurodiversity and sexuality. 

Contact us

For further information on Diversity and Inclusion within the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science please contact us at SAGES-D&

The School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science was awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2015. 

The University is a Stonewall Diversity Champion.    

Wellbeing, Equality and Diversity Committee

Learn more about who's who in the School's Wellbeing, Equality and Diversity Committee.

Policy and useful links

Find University-wide and School documents relating to wellbeing, equality and diversity policy. 

Flexible working examples

Read staff experiences of flexible working at the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science.
Athena SWAN Silver Award