• Group of multicultural students sat around a table. Smiling. Talking
05 Apr | Gender Equality | Women in Leadership

National award highlights University’s commitment to gender equality

The University of Lincoln has been recognised for its dedication to gender equality with a Silver Athena Swan Award. The University received its first Bronze Athena Swan Award in 2014. Ten years on, we celebrate our first institutional silver award and the progress this represents towards gender equality. The University is one of a select number of UK universities to achieve a silver award.

The University of Lincoln receives the Silver Athena Swan Award

Run by Advance HE, the Athena Swan Charter is a framework used worldwide to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Expanded in 2016, the Gender Charter now covers students and staff from all disciplines, including professional services, and ensures intersectional consideration of gender inequalities with race, disability and sexual orientation.  

We are absolutely delighted to have received our silver award, and the recognition that the University has made demonstrable progress against our key gender-related concerns identified in 2014. Our success in increasing the representation of women in senior roles, exceeding national benchmarks, is something we should be particularly proud of. This represents a huge amount of work, and my thanks go to all of the staff and students who contributed to making our bid for silver a success”, Prof Belinda Colston, University Strategic Lead for EDI.

Sustaining the pipeline for underrepresented groups was a big focus in our Athena Swan bronze renewal application in 2018, and tackling under-representation in the workforce at all levels has been a priority area for the University since 2021. We have seen a 70% increase from 2017 in the number of promotion applications from women (cf. 31% increase from men). Applications from women in 2023 represented 44% of all applications (cf. 38% in 2017), and 49% of those successful (cf. 43% in 2017).

Over the last 10 years, the proportion of women Professors across the University has been steadily increasing. In 2013 only 15% of our professors were women. Today women represent 39% of our professoriate (cf. 30% sector) in 2024. Women Professors in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) has increased from 17% in 2013 to 34% in 2024 (cf. 24% sector), and women Professors in AHSSBL (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Business and Law) has increased from 13% in 2013 to 46% (cf. 35% sector) in 2024 (now equal to the proportion of women in the academic community).

The proportion of minoritised ethnic women Professors across the University has increased from 2% in 2018 to 12% (cf. 4% sector) in 2024 and minoritised ethnic men Professors has increased from 8% to 13% (cf. 8% sector) over the same time. Minoritised ethnic women Professors now represent 31% of all women Professors at the University (cf. only 6% in 2018).

We have come a long way in 10 years, but we still have much more work to do.