Gender equality in Life and Medical Sciences (Athena SWAN)

Athena SWAN Bronze AwardIn the School of Life and Medical Sciences, we firmly believe that promoting gender equality and establishing a fair and inclusive environment for staff and students ultimately results in improving the working and study environment for everyone, both men and women.

Meet some of our female role models:

Dr Lisa Lione

Dr Lisa Lione

Lisa is a Senior Lecturer in Neuropharmacology. She is a fellow of the HEA, a member of the ethical review committee and has secured several research grants...

Read more about dr lione
Dr Shivani Sharma

Dr Shivani Sharma

Shivani is the Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching). She is also engaged in autism research and studies into ethnicity and coping with chronic illness...

Read more about dr sharma
Dr Shori Thakur

Dr Shori Thakur

Shori is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology. She currently leads a team of nine researchers studying for PhDs or Masters Degrees...

Read more about dr thakur

How we support women in science

Athena SWAN Awards CeremonyThe School of Life and Medical Sciences achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award in November 2014. View our School Athena SWAN Bronze submission (PDF - 2.55 Mb).

The Charter recognises good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women. It covers women in academic and research roles, but also progression of students into academia.

Athena SWAN has given us the opportunity to reflect on existing practices and prevailing cultures, acknowledge and celebrate current good practice and identify areas for improvement.

We also contribute to improving the profile of female careers in STEMM by submitting academic career profiles of colleagues from within the School of Life and Medical Science to the Academic Case Studies section of

  • Athena SWAN: Principles and impact

    The Charter was developed by the Equality Challenge Unit in order to encourage Universities and Departments to address the under representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) subjects.

    Membership of Athena SWAN has a proven impact as a catalyst for change, leading to organisational and cultural transformation that makes a real difference for women and enables all staff to achieve their maximum potential.

    All Athena SWAN members sign up to the principles of the Charter.

    The Equality Challenge Unit has identified evidence of the impact that Athena SWAN has had for universities and is increasingly referred to as a 'requirement' or an 'expectation'.

  • Meet the Team

    The Athena SWAN team is chaired by Professor Soraya Dhillon, our Dean of School.

    Members of the team include individuals from each Department within the School:
    - Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES)
    - Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Postgraduate Medicine (PPP)
    - Psychology and Sport Sciences (PSS)

    Together they cover a range of roles and include both students and staff across early careers and research. Collectively, they bring to the process a range of life experiences including balancing home responsibilities and work, dual-career families and recent experience of recruitment and promotion processes within the School.

    The Schools Athena SWAN team is further divided into working groups:
    - organisation and culture.
    - interviews and survey data.
    - staff data.

    The Athena SWAN team in the School of Life and Medical Sciences
    Name Role Staff profile

    Professor Soraya Dhillon

    Dean of School

    View Professor Dhillon's profile

    Professor Anwar Baydoun

    Associate Dean of Research

    View Professor Baydoun's profile

    Dr Lucy Annett

    Senior Lecturer (PSS)

    View Dr Annett's profile

    Mr C.J. Arnell

    1st year undergraduate student


    Dr Simon Baines

    Senior Lecturer (BES)

    View Dr Baines' profile

    Professor Marc Brown

    Professor of Pharmaceutics (PPP)

    View Professor Brown's profile

    Mr Christopher Donaldson

    3rd year undergraduate student


    Dr Katerina Finnis

    Athena Swan; Equality Office (University role)


    Mr Malcolm Green

    Senior Technical Manager (LMS)


    Ms Cheri Hunter

    Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medicine


    Dr Lisa Lione

    Senior Lecturer (PPP)

    View Dr Lione's profile

    Dr Louise Mackenzie

    Senior Lecturer (PPP), LMS Athena SWAN Champion


    Mr Roy Mills

    Technical Manager (LMS)


    Miss Debbie Ogbeni

    Postgraduate student


    Mrs Magdalene Okyere

    HR Business Partner


    Dr Michael Page

    Research Centre Head (PSS)

    View Dr Page's profile

    Dr Pryank Patel

    Senior Lecturer (BES)


    Dr Sharon Rossiter

    Senior Lecturer (PPP)

    View Dr Rossiter's profile

    Miss Helena Salzen

    1st year undergraduate student


    Dr Timothy Sands

    Subject Lead Geography, Environment and Agriculture (BES)

    View Dr Sands' profile

    Dr Shivani Sharma

    Associate Dean Learning and Teaching

    View Dr Sharma's profile

    Mrs Cathy Stuart-Neal

    School Administration Manager (LMS)


    Dr Amy Tanner

    Principal Lecturer (PSS)

    View Dr Tanner's profile

    Dr Shori Thakur

    Senior Lecturer (PPP)

    View Dr Thakur's profile

    Dr Matt Traynor

    Head of Department (PPP)

    View Dr Traynor's profile

    Mrs Michelle Varian

    Project Officer, Administrator to SAT

  • What we do: actions and good practice

    The School of Life and Medical Sciences received the Athena SWAN Bronze award in November 2014.

    The School's Self-Assessment Team (SAT) is currently ensuring that the Bronze Award Action Plan is being implemented. Actions range from monitoring quantitative data (including student applications and staff recruitment/promotions by gender) through to implementing and strengthening procedures to improve female career progression. Some specific actions include:

    - Promote and advertise flexible degrees and raising awareness of part-time study programmes.
    - Identify staff for management and leadership training.
    - Identify and train staff for Readership/Professorship roles.
    - Interview staff to capture their promotion stories (to identify enablers and barriers encountered in their
    promotion experiences) and use findings to influence processes within the School.
    - Formalise and expand existing unofficial mentoring schemes.
    - Ensure that 100% of the School Senior Management and Research groups undergo Unconscious Bias Training.
    - Make the purpose and value of Keeping in Touch (KIT) days (DOCX - 0.02 Mb) more widely known to women
    (via interviews with women who have taken KIT days during their maternity leave).

    View more Athena SWAN support for students and staff.

  • Case studies and stories

    Read case studies of women in STEMM professions from across the University of Hertfordshire.

An inspiration

Lindsy Kass - Senior Lecturer"At times It has been a struggle. Becoming aware of Athena SWAN made me reflect on what I have achieved, and I think I have done really well!"

Lindsy Kass - Senior Lecturer (Currently balancing work, PhD and motherhood.)


See a list of Athena SWAN news from the University of Hertfordshire.

Any questions?

Contact Dr Louise Mackenzie at if you have queries about Athena SWAN in the School of Life and Medical Sciences.