National award recognises the University’s commitment to gender equality


The University of Sheffield has been recognised for its ongoing commitment to progressing gender equality by the flagship accreditation scheme, Athena SWAN Charter.

The University’s Silver institutional award has been renewed until 2022, making Sheffield one of only 18 universities in the UK to hold this accolade.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Koen Lamberts said: “I am delighted that we have achieved this national accolade in recognition of our dedication to progressing gender equality. Thank you to the University’s Gender Equality Committee, our Athena SWAN champions, and to everyone who is committed to creating an inclusive University.”

Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the University, added: “We have a genuine commitment to gender equality and supporting the talents and potential of women and I am deeply proud of the progress made since our last award.

“We continue to make significant developments through a wide range of targeted actions to address challenges in different disciplines. Thank you to everyone involved for their hard work and dedication.”

Advance HE who run the Athena SWAN Charter will gift official recognition of the University of Sheffield’s achievements at a ceremony on 24 June 2019. The renewal of the Silver award continues the University’s successful track record since its first Bronze award in 2008, and first Silver award in 2016.

Since its first Athena SWAN award the University has made sustained progress in key areas, including:

  • Creating gender balance across the University’s leadership team and committee roles, resulting in all Senate Committees and over half of the University’s Council Committees now having at least 40 per cent female membership
  • The University’s executive board now includes four female members. Including Professor Gill Valentine who was appointed as the University’s second female Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in November 2017
  • Gender pay gap and equal pay data are now considered holistically and within the context of the University’s wider Athena SWAN action plan, with recommendations for actions reported to the University’s Gender Equality Committee ensuring connectivity between actions
  • Supporting trans people with changes to the University’s inclusive policies, language and facilities, and through transgender guidelines for transitioning and non-binary staff

Professor Katherine Linehan, Chair of the Gender Equality Committee (GEC) said: “We continue to recognise the challenges that remain and take these very seriously. The University’s Gender Equality Committee is fully committed to implementing an ambitious action plan. Some of the key focus areas relate to analysis of data to develop targeted actions, continued leadership training and career support for women, implementation of the new Academic Career Pathway and further diversification of our staff.”

As well as a Silver institutional award, the University of Sheffield has 20 departments across the University with Athena SWAN awards and in this latest submission round, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has achieved its first Bronze award.

Dr Nicola Ridgway, who leads the Athena Swan programme at the University of Sheffield’s AMRC, said: “We have made great strides, but this is just the beginning of our journey. The ethos of Athena Swan is now part of our culture and we are determined to go further in improving equality across the AMRC and engineering in general.”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For more information please contact:

Emma Griffiths
Media and PR Assistant
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1034