Athena Swan and EDI survey


Our 2021 Athena Swan and EDI survey goes live today (Monday 10 May) until Friday 4 June. I would like to personally encourage you to complete the survey and share your views and opinions about our workplace culture. 

This survey marks the first university-wide survey that aims to explore our progress and impact in EDI and gender equality for several years. At the university we are proud of our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in all that we do and to improving the workplace culture for all staff, and we want to understand which of the actions that we have implemented in recent years have had an impact, and where we need to improve.  

The survey aims to capture the experiences and perceptions of colleagues across the institution on a range of key areas including workload, Appraisal and Development Conversations (ADCs), career development, promotion, flexible/ part-time working, workplace culture, EDI, and parental policies.  

Your responses to this survey will help us to measure the impact of current actions, assess how well they are working, and identify what our next priorities should be.  

Athena Swan is a charter which examines commitment to gender equality. It requires self-assessment and the development of an action plan to address issues identified through data analysis and consultation, including the responses to staff and student questionnaires, such as this one. Our commitment to EDI at the university spans a range of different characteristics, as outlined in our EDI Strategic Delivery Plan. Feedback from this survey will be used to help direct our EDI-related priorities over the coming years, as well as specifically informing our next Athena Swan institutional submission. 

Whilst the focus of this survey is driven by our work towards gender equality, we will also be taking the opportunity to understand how our actions are impacting all of our staff, whether or not they are from any under-represented or disadvantaged groups. It is therefore really important that as many colleagues as possible take time to respond, as we aim for our work in EDI to be of benefit to all of the university community.

We ran our last Athena Swan survey in 2017. Feedback from this survey directly led to, or informed, a number of changes and new initiatives, including: 

  • The Appraisal and Development Conversations (ADC) process replaced the PDPR process, better meeting the needs of staff and managers.  
  •  A range of improvements and new initiatives have been implemented to support parents and staff returning from parental leave. This includes the introduction of breastfeeding rooms, the introduction of our New Parents Pack, Information Booklet for Parents and an online library of resources relating to parental leave, an update to our policy on annual leave to enable staff to carry forward accrued annual leave to their return from maternity/parental leave, and a review and update of our Conference and Training Care Fund.  
  • A refresh of the Dignity Advisors Network has increased the size and diversity of the pool of advisors.   
  • A review of our promotions process focused on removing potential disadvantage for individuals with protected characteristics in applying and being successful for promotion.   
  • The LMA Staff Career Development Hub was launched which provides online resources, training and information around career pathways and career development activities.  
  • The Building a Culture for Success guide has been integrated into a number of university processes (e.g. recruitment, ADC, promotion etc.) and sets out the expectations and behaviours that are expected of all staff working at the university.  
  • The introduction of our Let’s be clear about EDI webinars which aim to promote a university wide conversation to help develop our understanding of what EDI means and how the university embeds this in everything we do.   

The survey is confidential. This is particularly important for those of you who know that you are one of a very small number of staff in your part of the university who hold particular characteristics. We will only share aggregate data with teams and will ensure that data are only reported when we can be confident that there is a sufficiently large sample to ensure that individuals are not identifiable. 

Anonymous surveys will be emailed to all staff. Additional paper copies will be offered to O&F colleagues with limited access to computers. Alternatively, you can follow this link to complete the survey now.  

The survey should take no more than 15 – 20 minutes to complete and we have asked managers to provide support to ensure that you are able to complete the survey during work time. 

Once the survey has been completed, we will work as quickly as we can to review the data. We will also ensure that we share the key messages that have emerged from the data at a university-wide level, and use the findings to influence our forthcoming Athena swan institutional submission, as well as our wider EDI actions.

Please complete the survey and tell us how we can improve the workplace culture for you, your team and the university as a whole. For more information on the survey, please visit the Athena Swan survey SharePoint site.  

Professor Sarah Sharples
10 May 2021


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Trent Building
University Park Campus