Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Athena Swan Action Plan

Our Athena Swan Action Plan aim to improve gender equality within the Mathematics Institute.

Academic Staff Recruitment

Capitalise on recent momentum in continuing to improve the gender balance amongst academic staff, both at junior and senior levels, by:

  • Ensuring new Diversity in Hiring guidelines are followed.
  • Encouraging mathematicians from underrepresented groups to apply.
  • Highlighting the values, culture and flexibility within the Department in our advertising.
  • Ensuring each candidate has a host and that they meet a broad cross section of the Department, with an opportunity to participate in a Q&A session.

Undergraduate Recruitment, Admissions, and Student Experience

  • Improve the quality and diversity of the undergraduate applicant pool by

    • supporting online summer outreach programmes for students going into year 13.

  • Establish Warwick as a leading department for fostering the development of UG talent by

    • creating a summer programme for UK-based UGs from minority communities (starting with women).

  • Ensure female undergraduates have positive female role models by

    • scheduling female UGs to have at least one female advisor (tutor or supervisor);

    • making sure UGs are not the sole female in a group.

  • Equip female undergraduates with the confidence to meet their potential;

    • supporting and advertising training opportunities (a replacement of the SPRINT programme at Warwick is forthcoming).

Postgraduate Admissions and Experience

  • Boost female admissions by
    • enhancing our engagement with this pool, both directly (in-person, events, etc) and indirectly (e.g. via social media);
    • developing guidelines for our admissions process, including compulsory training (particularly in Unconscious Bias) and retention of data.
  • Support female postgraduates and those from under-represented communities by
    • creating a mentoring scheme, beginning with under-represented communities;
    • supporting and developing student-led networks and events.
  • Support the academic development of women and those from under-represented communities by
    • creating regular events and career talks aimed specifically at female students;
    • encouraging and enhancing training for postgraduates and staff.
  • Improve the communication of activities by
    • creating internally- and externally-facing webpages (!);
    • developing a social media presence.

Academic Staff Progression

Support the careers of academic staff from arrival through to promotion to senior positions, by:

    • Appointing a Director of Mentoring to develop a new mentoring system, with mentors recognised in promotion and pay review.
    • Create departmental induction procedures for new staff, including:
      • Signposting a 'WMI Survival Guide'.
      • Using Moodle forums for Q&As.
      • Creating social events to cultivate a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
    • Studying exit survey's of leavers for issues.
    • Allocate departmental duties to actively help people build promotion bids.
    • Involve postdocs in URSS/MSc supervision and create co-lecturing opportunities.
    • Monitor uptake of opportunities by gender.

    Academic Staff Flexible Work & Career Breaks

    Balancing Caring with Academic Life

    • Commitments accounted for when planning lecture timetable.

    • Committee meetings to be scheduled between 10-4.

    • Committee chairs to account for commitments when scheduling meetings.

    • Seminars to allow for hybrid participation.

    Supporting Returners from Maternity

    • Returners are not assigned first year tutorial groups.

    • Returners are able to teach the same modules as before their leave.

    • Returners are asked to teach one module, not two, in their year of return.

    Policies to be monitored and updated using feedback from a staff survey.

    Professional and Support Staff

    Improve the environment and professional development for our Professional and Support Staff in the Mathematics Institute, by:

    • Building PSS Cross-Team Support, Cohesion & Resilience:
      • Termly meetings at which future strategy and planning is discussed.
      • Create job shadowing opportunities for cross-team help in busy periods.
      • Monthly coffee & cake and termly lunches to build team cohesiveness.
      • Establish a PSS newsletter to highlight their successes.
    • Build Rapport Between PSS and Academic Staff
      • PSS to remain a full part of the Department's social activities and extend invitations to centrally linked staff.
    • Communications
      • Review existing staff communications within the department.
      • Establish an organogram to highlight what each PSS member is responsible for.
      • Create a suite of Standard Operating Procedures, to assist retain knowledge during staff turnover.
      • Create an induction pack for new PSS staff.
    • Professional Development of PSS Staff
      • Offer Personal Development Conversations to all staff and identify training and development opportunities, with increased time available for these.
      • Create a Training Needs Analysis & Plan that highlights training gaps identified, including compulsory, general and job-specific training.
      • An Annual PSS Careers Panel Discussion and social event that will highlight career paths and training opportunities.

    Department Culture and Community

    Improve the working environment within the Department, by:

    • Improving the environment:
      • Ensure the department continues its regular community-building social activities.
      • Create nearby baby changing, breastfeeding and milk expression facilities with Stats and CS.
      • Make sure there easily accessible exit routes out of the building are retained.
    • Raise awareness of the University's Code of Conduct, Report & Support and forms of harassment.
    • Increased awareness of well-being services and university policies relating to grievance, career breaks, flexible working, parental leave, conference care, etc.

    • Encourage more EDI Committee members to becomes University EDI Wellbeing Champions.

    • Take a strategic approach to the representation of females on the most influential committees, namely Promotions, Teaching, Graduate Studies, Executive, Advisory and Impact.

    • Share best practice with neighbouring departments, exchanging reps between EDI committees.

    • Keep seminars between 10-5, allowing speakers to talk remotely and retaining hybrid participation.

    • Improve the gender balance of speakers for seminars by consulting widely for suggested speakers and maintaining a record of talks for monitoring purposes.

    • Provide a diverse range of positive role models for women in maths at Warwick.

    • Better publicity for Warwick EDI initiatives and activities by creating an external website for the committee including the AS Action Plan (!) and Departmental Code of Conduct.

    • Create a Women in Mathematics page, aimed in part at prosepctive UG and PGRs, showcasing activities of female staff and students. Keep it up to date.

    • Develop EDI Committee members as Diversity Champions, including bespoke training events, and advertise on the webpage.


    Feedback on the Action Plan can be submitted to our EDI Committee's email address: .