Committed to diversity and equality Committed to diversity and equality

Athena SWAN is a Charter to advance women's careers in all subjects. Its Bronze, Silver and Gold awards celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women within Higher Education.

The scheme is managed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), and is funded by ECU, the Research Councils UK (RCUK), and the Royal Society. The Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) and was launched in June 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

Nationally, Athena SWAN activity has significantly increased following the link between Athena SWAN awards and scientific research funding. In January 2013, the Research Councils UK (RCUK) unveiled its new Statement of Expectations for Equality and Diversity expecting those in receipt of Research Council funding to provide evidence of commitment to equality and diversity with participation in Athena SWAN specifically mentioned as one piece of such evidence.

Inclusive practice is also an important consideration within the research environment in the REF, with an anticipated stronger emphasis placed on this in REF2020.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law (AHSSBL) and in professional and support roles and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The University of East Anglia joined Athena SWAN in October 2011 and submitted a successful Bronze application in April 2012 which was renewed in 2016. There are nine Schools that have bronze awards and one School that has a Silver award in their own rights.

The School of Economics is fully committed to providing a fair and equal environment for work and study.  GEE (Gender Equality in Economics) was established in March 2014 to monitor staff and student data, review many areas of working practice and also develop a supportive culture that values all students and staff members.

The School of Economics has submitted an application to ECU for the Athena SWAN Bronze award in April 2016, and is awaiting the outcome in November 2016.

Watch our Women in Economics video for an insight into the School’s philosophy and approach to gender equality.


The Dean of Faculty is a proactive member of the University's Equality and Diversity Committee and feedback from students and staff is increasingly sought on a range of issues as the Faculty has highly diverse populations and works hard to ensure a supportive and inclusive environment in which all can flourish.

The University has a range of policies to facilitate a supportive working environment:

Student Support Service

The Student Support Service at UEA provides students and staff with support for a wide range of academic and health issues. Click here.

Parental, Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave

The University has policies in place to support those with changing family circumstances. Further information can be found here.


The UEA has an on-site Nursery available to staff and students. See their website for more information.

We have a family room in the basement of the Elizabeth Fry Building which is fitted out for nursing mothers. To access this room contact the Hub in the EFB on 01603 597578.

Flexible Working

Employees who have worked at the University for 26 weeks or more, have a statutory right to request flexibility in their working pattern.

Flexible Working Policy

Returning to work after illness

Following a period of ill health, we offer support for returning to work. This may include access to a phased return, short term amendments to duties or working hours, or adjustments to the physical environment.

More information

Staff Members

There is tailored support for female research staff across the Norwich Research Park. More information.

Mentorship is available through the University Centre for Staff and Educational Development, click here for more information.

PhD Students and Research Associates

We provide support and mentoring for PhD students and Research Associates. This is delivered by research teams, The Personal and Professional Development Programme and the Staff Research Forum.

For more information click here or here.


We offer support for undergraduate career development. Contact Dr Georgios Papadopoulos – Director of Employability.

Also see our careers website for more information on how the university can help you in your future career.