Gender Equality: Athena SWAN

Recognising Advancement of Gender Equality: Representation, Progression and Success for all

The Athena SWAN Charter was initially established in 2005 to recognise commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia. In 2015 the Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Edge Hill University is a member of the Athena Swan Charter and currently holds an institutional Bronze Athena SWAN Award.

The Department of Psychology is committed to promoting equality and diversity for all staff and students. In October 2018, we successfully obtained our Bronze Award. See the full application here.


What is the issue?

Across the Higher Education sector, two key issues regarding gender equality are apparent in the subject of psychology:

  • Significantly more women compared to men are registered on undergraduate psychology degrees
  • Significantly more men compared to women are employed in senior academic roles in universities (e.g., Professor, Managers)

Some of the ways we are supporting gender equality

Collecting research data on gender identity- collecting demographic data on gender is a standard part of our research activities. We encourage all members of the Department, including student researchers to avoid using simple binary response options in research surveys obtaining information on gender.

Visibility of self-identified pronouns– not everyone categorises themselves in line with male/female pronouns. There are plenty of discussions which speak to the benefits of making visible preferred pronouns as this can support allyship for those who identify as non-binary. We are encouraging members of our Department to make visible their self-identified pronouns such as via email signatures and staff webpages

Aurora Leadership Training- Edge Hill University is forthcoming in supporting women in leadership through offering fully-funded places on the Aurora Leadership Scheme . The Department of Psychology has capitalised on this in which a number of our senior female staff members have attended this programme. Edge Hill University also runs an Aurora Mentoring Scheme, which Aurora alumni are encouraged to engage in as a means of supporting other colleagues on the scheme. Find out more about the Aurora Scheme from Professor Helen Newall based on her experiences as an Aurora participant.

University Champions– many colleagues across Edge Hill champion the values of Athena SWAN in their work. You can hear their stories in the videos below.

Useful links

The University’s policies and procedures, can be found here on the HR website, including information on family friendly policies, induction and probation, and promotion.

Aurora Leadership Scheme – supporting leadership for women in Higher Education

Science Grrl Science Grrl Logois a national group that celebrates women in science. Read their recent report on female representation in STEM careers. Follow them on twitter: @science_grrl or get involved. There is Liverpool chapter of the Science Grrl group you can find out more here or see their Facebook page for more information.

LGBTQ+ support groupThe Lee Cooper Foundation in association with Dramatic Recovery hosts a weekly local LGBTQ+ support group specifically for young people

Lee Cooper








Inspirational Psychologists

There are a wide range of eminent women psychologists who can be looked upon as being inspirational role models for those studying the discipline. Some key figures are listed below.

Professor Dorothy Bishop


Professor Elizabeth Stokoe


Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore


Dr Jacqui Dyer


Professor Catherine Sanderson


Professor Francine Shapiro

Get in touch

If you have any comments or suggestions relating to Athena SWAN activities within the Department of Psychology, please contact Dr Linda Kaye: [email protected].

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