University receives its first Athena SWAN Gold award for gender equality

The Institute of Integrative Biology has achieved the Athena SWAN Gold award for gender equality, the first departmental Gold award for the University of Liverpool. Two further departmental Athena SWAN awards have also been achieved by the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease and the School of Engineering.

The award recognises significant and sustained progression and achievement in promoting gender equality. Gold recipients are recognised as beacons of achievement in gender equality who promote good practice to the wider community.

These awards have all been achieved under the new Athena SWAN criteria which is inclusive of Professional Services staff as well as academics and consider gender equality issues more broadly.

Institute of Integrative Biology

Professor Christiane Hertz-Fowler, Interim Head of the Institute of Integrative Biology, said: “We’re all immensely proud to have been awarded the Athena SWAN Gold award and I’m grateful for the contribution of all my colleagues in the Institute in helping us achieve this. We have worked hard to embed the principles of Athena SWAN into everything we do and remove any barriers to equality of opportunity.

A significant part of the award is to recognise ‘sustained progression and achievement’ and we are committed to building on what we have achieved, with a focus in the coming months on health and wellbeing and career development events, which we hope all of our colleagues will take advantage of.”

Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease

The Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease achieved a Silver level award. Departments are awarded a Silver level when they can demonstrate that actions taken around gender equality have had an impact.

Head of IACD, Professor Pete Clegg said: “This renewal is a positive reflection of the ongoing work within the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease to create a supportive, diverse and equitable working environment for all our staff.  The award recognises the continued increase in the proportion of women in senior academic roles, the increased year-on-year contribution to maternity support packages for both academic and professional service staff and the development of an innovative outreach programme, reaching some of the most disadvantaged children in the region.”

School of Engineering

The School of Engineering achieved a Bronze level award. This level is given to departments who have an excellent understanding of gender equality issues they face and have suitable actions in place to address these.

Professor Ahmed Elsheikh, Head of the School of Engineering said: “The School has been through a period of significant change, to address gender imbalance and improve the work environment for all staff. From no women academics or technicians in 2012, 10% of our staff now are female. Going forward, the School has an ambitious action plan to continue to improve and provide a friendly and supportive work environment for its staff and students.”

Sally Middleton, the University’s Gender Equality Officer said: “Departments work incredibly hard on their gender equality activity and it is fantastic when the significant progress being made by them is recognised by new Athena SWAN awards.”

Professor Susan Wray, The University’s Director of Athena SWAN says “What’s interesting is we are seeing how the Athena SWAN scheme is being used as a tool to bring about local change and actions, that are identified by the teams and tailored to their environment and circumstances. We can all be proud of the significant progress being made across the entire institution.”.

The University holds a Silver level award overall and 10 academic departments hold four Bronze, five Silver and one Gold award.

For further information on Athena SWAN at the University please visit:

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