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Equality and Diversity in the Department of Mathematical Sciences

We are committed to improving the representation of women in mathematics, and to addressing issues of equality and diversity more generally.


A maths lecture in progress
We believe diversity is a key factor for our continuing success.

Equality and Diversity

The Department of Mathematical Sciences works hard to support an inclusive culture that values the diversity of its staff and students.

We are supporters of the London Mathematical Society's Good Practice Scheme and hold an Athena Swan Silver Award. We recognise the advancement of gender equality for all in terms of representation, progression and success.

More information and support relating to equality and diversity issues at the University can be found on the following pages for staff and students.

Department Equality and Diversity Committee

Athena Swan

We were awarded an Athena Swan Silver Award in 2019 in recognition of the progress we have made in the advancement of gender equality in the department. The Silver Action Plan is available to read. It sets out some of the further commitments we have made to improving departmental processes over the period 2019-2024. The Department Equality and Diversity Committee is responsible for ensuring the delivery of the action plan.

Women in Mathematics events

The Department is a supporter of the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme. Funds are available to cover expenses of staff and postgraduate students wishing to attend Women in Mathematics events or other related activities.

Contact the Chair of the Department Equality and Diversity Committee, Matt Roberts for more information.

The two Women in Mathematics days at the Isaac Newton Institute were inspirational and informative. They featured talks from distinguished women covering a broad range of mathematical fields and showcased some great mathematics.

I found the talks very eye-opening, to discover the challenges some of the women had overcome to get to where they were in their career. The event also outlined the importance of being aware of bias and working to reduce stereotype threat.

I encourage everyone to try and attend one of the future events if they get the chance.

Hayley Wragg, PhD student

Postgraduate study

We are committed to increasing the diversity of postgraduate mathematicians in the department, to ensure that moving from an undergraduate degree to a postgraduate degree is a natural step. Read more about our Centre for Doctoral Training.

Some things that the Department Equality and Diversity Committee has done

In no particular order, we have...

  • Set up new recruitment processes for all career stages, designed to encourage more applications from women and other groups under-represented in the department.
  • Introduced a department promotions committee to encourage and help eligible staff to apply for promotion.
  • Created “what to do if…” posters which can be found around the department and on the PG moodle zone, giving useful advice to PhD students (and sometimes staff too).
  • Supported an annual "Women in maths" event in the department.
  • Worked with Student Support to design and roll out the "Be the change" training course for tutors.
  • Organised an annual promotions workshop to familiarise staff with promotions criteria and procedures.
  • Standardised the way that key roles in the department are assigned, with an email from the HoD inviting anyone eligible to express an interest, followed by consultation with senior staff to decide on the best candidate.
  • Created a template code of conduct for events, including highlighting what to do if anyone experiences any inappropriate behaviour at an event.
  • Developed a mentoring scheme whereby all academic and research staff are now able to have mentors if they wish, including for specific help e.g. applying for grants.
  • Instigated guidance that important meetings and seminars should be held within core hours (10am-4pm).
  • Standardised details on department policies around leave, including support for anyone returning from long-term leave, and made them available on the staff moodle zone.
  • Provided a budget to support professional services staff for continuing professional development.
  • Funded and promoted department-driven support networks for under-represented groups.
  • Begun writing a wider "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan" which will include our Athena Swan (gender equality) and Race Equality action plans as well as more actions related to religion, disability and economic inequality. We are always very keen to have suggestions from the wider department for things we can do to make the department a better place for all of us to work. Please get in touch with Matt Roberts or Susie Douglas.

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