Lancaster University: Athena Swan Bronze Award for Lancaster University Law School

Lancaster University Law School has been awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in recognition of its commitment to advancing gender equality.

It follows a process of self-assessment over the past year, which involved staff and students from across the School.

The School will now hold the Bronze award until August 2026 and has developed a five-year action plan which aims to further increase equality, diversity and inclusion for staff and students.

Head of the Law School Dr Catherine Easton said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have achieved this award. It is true testament to the efforts of a fantastic team, led by Dr Georgina Collins, and working in extremely challenging conditions.

“It is an exciting time for the school as we consolidate a period of growth and look towards future expansion. We are keen to embed our Athena Swan Action Plan within departmental practice to improve further the student and staff experience in our thriving Law School.”

And Law lecturer Dr Collins, who led the self-assessment team for the Law School award application, said: “I could not be more pleased that we have received the Athena Swan Bronze award and I’m really looking forward to putting the Action Plan into practice.”

Lancaster University Law School has an award-winning, community-engaged Law Clinic which, during the pandemic, saw students providing free, online legal advice to members of the local community.

In 2019 it became one of the first UK universities with a prison-university partnership, offering the chance for an inmate at a Lancaster prison to secure a university place to study law or criminology following their release.

Initially focussed on challenging the under-representation and inequalities of women within STEMM subjects at higher education, in 2015, the Athena Swan award was broadened to include the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law.

As an Institution, Lancaster University received its latest Bronze Athena Swan Award in 2019.

Athena Swan Programme Manager Kathy New said: “We are so pleased with this latest award for the Law School, which clearly reflects the fantastic efforts of Georgina and the whole self-assessment team, which came together during lockdown, and has been an entirely remote endeavour. There is such a strong commitment to this agenda across the University, and the central Athena Swan team work closely with Departments to make sure our actions collectively drive forward gender equality.”