Divinity achieves Athena SWAN Silver Award

The School is the first Theology and Religious Studies department in the UK to achieve Silver, after securing the first Bronze in 2014.

Athena SWAN Silver Award logo

The Athena SWAN awards recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in higher education and research.

Winning team

The latest bid was submitted by the Equality and Diversity (E&D) Committee, led at the time by Dr Naomi Appleton. The team included:

  • Dr Naomi Appleton (Chair)
  • Dr Linden Bicket
  • Professor Helen Bond
  • Dr Alex Chow
  • Rhona Feist
  • Professor Paul Foster
  • Louisa Grotrian
  • Dr Mark Harris
  • Dr Laura Mair
  • Karoline McLean
  • Prof Jolyon Mitchell
  • Christophe Sagnet
  • Dr Philippa Townsend
  • Áine Warren

School's concern for gender awareness and diversity

Head of School Professor Helen Bond says,

“I'm delighted that Divinity has been awarded the Silver Athena Swan award. We are the first School of Divinity in the UK to gain this recognition. This marks the culmination of a huge amount of effort over the last few years and reflects the School's concern for gender awareness and diversity. A big thank-you to all of our E&D team!”

The latest award builds on the work done by Professor Susan Hardman Moore and her team, which led to our Athena SWAN Bronze (GEM) award in 2014. Since then, the Athena SWAN charter has been expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not just the progression of women.

"Very positive moment for all current and future students"

Postgradute student Áine Warren comments,

"As Equality and Diversity representative of the student body, I am delighted that the School of Divinity has achieved a Silver ATHENA Swan award. My congratulations go out to the Equality and Diversity Committee and particularly to Dr Naomi Appleton who was the Equality and Diversity Director during the application process.

“The Athena Swan award is not only a recognition of the progress made to date in matters of equality and diversity in the School; this honour is also awarded on the basis of the active goals of the School to effect real change and improvement, particularly in issues of gender equality. This is therefore a very positive moment for all current and future students, as this Athena SWAN award represents not only the hard work and achievements of the E&D Committee, but also the School's commitment to continue to further a positive and equal learning and teaching environment.”

Building on progress so far

Current Equality and Diversity Director, Dr Philippa Townsend, adds:

"Congratulations to all involved in working for this award. It's a fantastic achievement that reflects the great efforts the School has made to promote gender equality. As the incoming Equality and Diversity Director, I'm looking forward to working with others to build on the progress we've made so far."

Athena SWAN Action Plan


Athena SWAN results November 2018

University of Edinburgh Athena SWAN awards

Equality Challenge Unit