Equality, diversity and inclusion in the School of Health and Social Work

The School of Health and Social Work is committed to recognising and addressing gender equality across academia for all students and staff. We were awarded Athena SWAN Bronze status in April 2015 and Silver in November 2018, which acknowledges our ongoing commitment to gender equality.

HSK collecting Athena SWAN award

The Athena SWAN Champions, Kathryn Almack and Hubert van Griensven, accept the Silver Award.

View our submission and action plan (PDF - 2.51 Mb)

Athena SWAN was established in 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. In 2015 this was expanded to include other fields and a broader range of gender equality issues.

Visit the Athena SWAN website for more information.

Our Athena SWAN work contributes to the University’s Equality Objectives. You can also read the University’s Equality and Diversity Report.

Meet the people leading on gender equality

Professor Kathryn Almack

Professor Kathryn Almack

Accepting the role of Athena SWAN Champion (alongside Hubert van Griensven) evidences my deep commitment to promoting an inclusive culture where all individuals can thrive and be supported in their

I am delighted that HSK is one of the first two Schools at the University to achieve a Silver award (2018). Moving forward, we need to continue our work to ensure the Athena SWAN charter principles are embedded within the School and University - which requires the commitment of all.

Gender equality is not only a women’s issue; it is everyone’s issue. Gender shapes opportunities and constraints; the ways in which both women and men think, live their lives, and act towards each other. To achieve long-lasting gender equality, we need to challenge gender roles and stereotypes associated with both women and men. And we need men as well as women to fight for equality.

My background contributes to a strong commitment to equality and diversity. I’m from a rural working-class background and it wasn’t common for girls from my background to go on to further education. I worked for two years before deciding I would do a degree and I was the first member in my immediate family to do so. Much later, I completed my Masters and PhD, and I have subsequently worked in academia. I have had a research-only career pathway and now hold a Research Chair. I’m very committed to supporting and mentoring early career researchers. I am a family sociologist and my research interests broadly address family lives, health and well-being across the life-course.

Headshot of Julia Warrener

Julia Warrener

Education has the power to transform lives and encourage more positive routes through life. It did this for me and now I work with others to help secure positive outcomes

As a social worker by background, I have dedicated my professional career to promoting opportunities and challenging constraints across many different areas of discrimination and inequality. Such work often requires us to build alliances and bridging our differences, whether across race, sexuality, ability or gender to name but a few. I am therefore delighted to work with others across the School and wider University to help ensure that the Athena SWAN Charter Principles are embedded in all that we do, within the School of Health and Social Work.

Having been told in secondary school that I didn’t ‘have what it takes’ for A levels, I applied myself to re-take, secured my degree and then obtained my Masters in Social Work, in 1993. I resigned from my full-time post as a Forensic Social Worker in 2005 to concentrate on my PhD, balancing part-time employment with part-time study. I secured my PhD in 2014, publishing a book from my thesis in 2017. I became the Deputy Dean of School in February 2019. I often wonder what my teachers would now make of their earlier assessments of my capabilities! I never underestimate the power for change.

Athen Swan silver logoAthena SWAN in the School

In 2014, the School of Health and Social Work set up a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) and successfully applied for the Bronze Award. The team was also instrumental in achieving the Silver award, which required that the School demonstrated that it had acted on its Bronze action plan and had addressed wider gender equality issues. The team was renamed the Equality, Wellbeing and Diversity Committee (EWIC) to reflect a wider remit.

More information