University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being a part of this we are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within our policies, practices, action plans and culture:

  • We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  • 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
  • We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support function, including the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL). As well as the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
  • We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  • We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women at major points of career development and progression, such as the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  • We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia.
  • We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.
  • We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action on all levels of our school and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  • 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
  • All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors.
  • We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

Athena SWAN Silver Awards

In 2015, the School was awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award. We are passionate about creating an inclusive environment for all. In addition to University of Reading-wide policies, our Silver Award means that as a School we have identified particular challenges and are planning activities for the future.

  • We have assessed where the School is regarding gender equality and diversity in quantitative (staff and student data) and qualitative (policies, practices, systems and arrangements) terms, identifying both challenges and opportunities.
  • We have an action plan that builds on the assessment, the activities that are already in place and what has been learnt from these.
  • We also have an organisational structure to carry proposed actions forward, namely an Equality Officer, and Wellbeing, Equality and Diversity Committee.

Please see our SAGES Athena SWAN Silver application and SAGES Athena SWAN Silver Action Plan.

School objectives relating to Athena SWAN

  1. To aspire to a culture of equality for our staff (academic, admin, research and technical) and students;
  2. To enhance induction, communication and consultation processes within and between Archaeology, GES and SAGES;
  3. To improve collegiality and achieve a more cohesive structure in SAGES;
  4. To foster a supportive culture of mentoring, review (PDRs), training and promotion across SAGES (regardless of career stage).

On-going wellbeing, equality and diversity achivements

  • Development of SAGES Staff Wellbeing, Equality and Diversity committee in order to enhance individual staff development, increase engagement with University and School strategic aims and to embed issues of equality within all of our working practices
  • Improved induction processes for staff and PGs, enhanced communication across SAGES and increased transparency on SAGES decision-making processes
  • Extensive improvements across SAGES in physical infrastructure, particularly Russell Building towards GES cohesion
  • Implementation of new mentoring and review processes with guidance at School-level for contribution of SAGES within the University, improved focus on training opportunities across all staff grades, and close attention to promotion possibilities for staff
  • Engagement of SAGES staff and students on topic of 'women in science' through year-long project (2014/15) of 'Gender and Fieldwork' (career sessions, mini-conference, Norma Wilkinson Lecture)
  • As part of the Gender and Fieldwork Project a School-wide photography competition took place in 2015. This was aimed at capturing examples of fieldwork from across the School

Further information

For more information about the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science Athena SWAN Silver Award please contact our Equality Officer, Dr Hilary Geoghegan at
Athena SWAN Silver Award