Ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion at Lincoln

  • girl in wheelchair
  • students sat on bench
  • two  students talking

The University has a strong ethos of equality, embedded in management, HR policies and procedures, and in all aspects of university life. We have a high profile female Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart (Chair of the Universities Association of Lifelong Learning, Chair of the Action on Access Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of the University Alliance, and Board member of the Equality Challenge Unit and Leadership Foundation) and women are well-represented in the majority of senior management roles

Our journey with Athena SWAN

The University signed the Athena SWAN Charter in 2008, and gained an Institution Award at Bronze level in 2014. Since that date, four of our STEMM schools have successfully received Bronze awards. 


The University’s first Athena SWAN Committee was established in early 2012. Membership was built around key stakeholders to facilitate development and promotion of best-practice and implementation of policy change. The focus of the committee in 2012 was to begin the self-assessment process, position the University for an institutional bronze award submission (April 2014), and build momentum to drive forward submissions from all STEMM schools. 


Lincoln adopted a co-creation approach to Athena SWAN – where all Schools work together towards Athena SWAN goals for mutual benefit. Engaging with the new, extended, Athena SWAN principles, all schools across the University (both STEMM and AHSSBL) are now engaged in the process, and 20 Athena SWAN self-evaluation teams (ASSETs) are established across the University - comprising a total of 215 staff (ca. 30% of the academic community: 48% male / 52% female). With all Schools participating in Athena SWAN, it seemed appropriate, and more effective, to establish a bottom-up approach to the University’s self-assessment. Our Athena SWAN Committee of 2012-14, therefore, evolved into an extended, fully-representative, university-wide communication and evaluation network (EDI-CEN), with the Senior Oversight Group (including 8 members of the Senior Management Team, SMT) continuing to provide top-level support and drive change, and a new University ASSET Committee as a central forum to bring together all of the School ASSET Chairs, College Champions and central support, for discussion, reflection and university-wide evaluation, and sharing of best-practice between schools. Cross-over membership between the different network levels ensures and maintains open and clear communication channels. To ensure a fully diverse and inclusive network, maximising intersectionality where relevant, School ASSETs were set up according to guideline criteria:

Member CategoryNotes
Co-Chairs 1 female; 1 male
AcademicRepresentation from all levels: HoS, Prof, Reader/Principal Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer, PDRA
TechnicalIf appropriate
StudentPGR and UG
AdministrationRepresentative from the 'School Office' (e.g. PA, Senior Administrator, Administrator)
Overall membership demographic50:50 gender split (where possible); intersectional representation as appropriate for the School

Chairs of School ASSETs are primarily volunteers, appointed through the Head of School, and discussed as part of the wider ADA process. The workload model accommodates an allowance for Athena SWAN activities, although the time allocated varies across the University. Membership recruitment of the School ASSETs is the responsibility of the Chair and is carried out through a combination of volunteers and discussion, assuring the membership meets the guideline criteria.

Communication & Evaluation Network (EDI-CEN)