Gender Equality Project

  • Smiling female academic engaged in conversation
  • Female BAME academic speaking in front of an audience, sharing her research expertise
  • Female Deputy Vice Chancellor engaged in discussion at an inclusion conference

Our Gender Equality Project is centred on the Athena Swan Charter. It has been more than 13 years since Lincoln began its gender equality journey, with the signing of the Athena Swan Charter in 2008. Since then, the University's inclusion work has gained momentum, achieving a Bronze award in 2014, and successfully renewing it in 2018. Today, six of our STEMM Schools hold Bronze awards, our first Silver Award arrived in 2019, courtesy of the School of Psychology, and all Schools across the University are now engaged in the Athena Swan process

Our journey towards gender equality

The University has invested ca. £1m in our Gender Equality Project, and continues to support our broader EDI work.

Emerging impacts of the project, and tangible changes, are now observable - in terms of both the EDI-focussed structures, processes and practices embedded in the institution, and the make-up of our community. 

Key milestones on our journey are outlined below:


Our first Annual Lincoln Inclusion & Diversity Conference (LID2020) was held in February 2020 — attended by over 100 academic and professional services staff.


Silver Award: School of Psychology.




The People of Colour staff network was formally established with central support.



The LGBTQI+ staff network was formally established with central support.



The Disabilities staff network was formally established with central support.



11 Academic Returners' Research Fund (AR2F) awards made to date. Recognised as 'Sector Leading' and 'Innovative Practice in Advancing Equality and Diversity' (HEFCE 2017).


18 Be Inspired! lectures delivered. A series of inspirational lectures and thought-provoking talks by successful figures under-represented in their field.


Bronze Award: School of Chemistry.

Bronze Award: School of Architecture and the Built Environment.


The Eleanor Glanville Centre was established as a central department for diversity and inclusion.


The EDI Forum was established, expanding the remit of the Athena SWAN self-evaluation teams to include a broader EDI focus. All schools have EDI Committees.


The Newton Academy — the Science Club for Girls received the Alastair Graham-Bryce Award — a Prestige Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, for outstanding contributions to engage, inspire and enthuse the next generation of female scientists and engineers.



Bronze Award: INSTITUTION RENEWAL. "[The panel] consider it apparent that Athena SWAN-related activity is clearly becoming a greater component of the institutional culture, and that it is embedded in governance".


Bronze Award: School of Health & Social Care.




The Pipeline Inclusive Mentoring Scheme (PIMS) was rolled out across the University. PIMS offers a range of pathways from research development to inclusive teaching; from work-life balance to cultural challenges..


The Worldw-IDE Fund was launched to support University staff, across a range of international activities, alleviating disadvantage or under-representation in terms of Inclusion, Diversity and Equality.


The new Action Plan for Gender Equality (2018–22) was established at institution level.





A new equality, diversity and inclusion centre opened to drive cultural change across the institution.


A key milestone: the number of female professors in STEM reached 30% of the total STEM professoriate. This is significantly higher than the UK mean (ca.19%) and equals the WISE Campaign's target for women in science. 




Athena SWAN extended to include all non-STEMM disciplines — Athena SWAN Self-Evaluation Teams (ASSETs) set up in all non-STEMM schools.


Bronze Award: School of Psychology.

Bronze Award: School of Life Sciences.



Two new posts established and recruited: the Equalities Project Manager and the Equalities Administrator.





The Newton Academy — the Science Club for Girls was launched. Over 60 girls from across Lincolnshire turned up to our inaugural event.





The Academic Returners' Research Fund (AR2F) was launched and awarded its first recipients. The AR2F provides support for female scientists to sustain their research during, and/or after, maternity leave.


The first Back2Science Fellowships were awarded. The Back2Science Research Programme offers support to scientists returning to academia following extended career breaks (> 5 years).


Bronze Award: INSTITUTION.




The first Be Inspired! lecture was held.




The Pipeline Inclusive Mentoring Scheme (PIMS) 18 month trial began.



The University of Lincoln signed a Statement of Commitment to the 'Removal of Gender Bias in Higher Education and Research in STEMM disciplines'.




School ASSETs (Athena SWAN Self-Evaluation Teams) established in all STEM Schools.



Our first Action Plan for Gender Equality (2013–17) was established at institution level.




The Athena SWAN Project Officer post (full-time, permanent) was established and recruited.





The Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Group (WiSE@lincoln) was established.



The University's Athena SWAN Committee (ASC) was established.

The Senior Oversight Group for Gender Equality was established to provide SLT support and drive change from the top.