Key information

We recognise that diversity is key to our success and are committed to driving change at all levels.

Athena Swan

Our School is proud to hold an Athena Swan Bronze award. The award demonstrates our continued commitment to progress and embed Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in all that we do. Our Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) agenda is now embedded in our governance structures and significant resources have been invested to support our work in these areas.

We have a dedicated office (Engagement and External Relations) to monitor the progress of our Action Plan, and our EDI Director is an ex-officio member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Our School and our Head of School have made it a priority to consolidate and extend a culture of gender equality across all areas of our activity. There is still work to be done within the School to further enhance the inclusivity of our workplace environment and improve representation of global majority and female staff colleagues at the higher pay grades/levels.

We also recognise the need to support female and global majority students to fulfil their potential and improve their employment opportunities. Addressing intersectional sources of inequality based on gender, race, disability and/or sexuality is critical in this endeavour.

Find out more details:

Diversity in our school

We are a diverse and welcoming place for all students and staff.

SoSS Family-friendly policies

The School of Social Sciences is dedicated to creating a family-friendly culture to help support parents and carers to balance work commitments with family life:

School of Social Sciences (SoSS) Caregiving Costs Fund

Staff (both academic and PS), Teaching Assistants (G/TAs) and PGR students are warmly invited to apply for funding of up to £500 to help with the associated costs of caring (including childcare or other caregiving costs) as a result of attending training and/or conferences. Early application is encouraged to ensure that sufficient funding is available.

View the application form.

Academic Returners Scheme

The School of Social Sciences supports academic colleagues (on Teaching and Research, and Teaching and Scholarship contracts whereby contractual duties include educational scholarship and research activities) who have had an extended period of leave (e.g. for maternity or adoption leave) to apply for the Academic Returners Scheme. The Academic Returners scheme allows colleagues to apply for up to £8000 to help prioritise research and educational scholarship activity.

The funding can support colleagues to develop and focus on their research and educational scholarship which is likely to have been impacted by the leave, enabling them to maintain their career trajectory and meet their professional goals and aspirations and the goals of the University.  It is inclusive of all genders and reasons for taking extended leave (including sickness, maternity, shared parental leave, adoption or a career break).


Core Hours and Inclusive Meetings Policy

As part of our family-friendly policies, the School is committed to holding meetings and events, where possible, within core hours (10-4pm) to allow colleagues with caring responsibilities and additional access requirements to attend. More information for staff can be found on the Core Hours and Inclusive Meetings Guidelines.

Parent room

Our parent room, situated in the Arthur Lewis Building – can be used for baby feeding or expressing, between 8.30am – 6pm. The room should not be used for any other purpose. There is no booking system. Please be patient if occupied. Alternative spaces and baby change facilities information can be found in the student parents guide and Maternity Toolkit (for staff). 


University policies and support for parents and carers

The university has a wide range of policies and services to help support parents and carers, including information for carers (including those caring for adults), maternity leave toolkit and support, flexible working, and other supportive policies.

SoSS EDI Initiatives

We are proud to support the Hidden Disability Lanyard Scheme. Lanyards, wristbands and badges are available to any staff or students who need them, and can be collected from the following locations in SoSS buildings:

  • SoSS Student Support Hub, Arthur Lewis building (ground floor).
  • Engagement & External Relations team, Arthur Lewis Building, fourth floor, room 4.059 (please email to arrange a collection).
  • School Operations Team, Williamson Building, third floor, room 3.51A.

The School of Social Sciences provides free period products for all users of our buildings (Arthur Lewis Building, Humanities Bridgford Street, Williamson Building, Crawford House and the Justice Hub.

Pronoun badges are available to SoSS staff and students and are available at the SoSS Student Support Hub, Arthur Lewis building (ground floor).