Athena Swan

The School of Archaeology and Ancient History is committed to providing a good working environment for students and staff. The School shares the Athena SWAN ideals and is currently working towards a bronze award.

The Athena SWAN charter was launched in 2005 as a recognition scheme for good employment practice for women working in STEMM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics) in higher education. Since May 2015 it has been expanded to AHSSBL (Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law) subjects and to professional and support staff in certain areas.

The Athena SWAN Principles

Athena SWAN is based on ten main principles.

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including: the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans-people.
  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.


Team MemberBackground and InterestsRole

Meredith Laing (PhD Student)

Meredith Laing

As a mother of two young children, returning to postgraduate study after a career in another field, she is very keen to help ensure the School maximises the opportunities for women who are juggling work, study and family commitments to participate in all departmental activities, and that it supports them through their careers. Investigated the visibility of female role models.

Dr Sarah Scott, Associate Professor

Sarah Scott


Sarah is Equalities Officer for the School and SAT Chair. She is committed to Widening Participation and student employability, and co-ordinates our student volunteering and public engagement programme (Archaeology & Classics in the Community). She is also project lead for an initiative to introduce Classics and Latin into Leicester schools, funded by Classics for All. She has four children aged between 9 and 16. Worked on the data analysis and action plan; co-ordinated and edited contributions to other elements of the submission; co-ordinated focus groups.

Dr Richard Thomas, Reader in Archaeology

Richard Thomas

Richard was Acting Head of School for the 2015/16 academic year. He is co-director of the School’s field school project at Bradgate Park and manages the School’s Bone Laboratory. He balances his professional activities and being a parent to three children. Worked on the picture of the department and advised on other aspects as required.

Selina Thraves

Selina Thraves

Selina is Professional Services Administration Team Leader and mother of two children. Collected data on gender balance of School committees and assisted with general administrative tasks.
Gus Dinn, Operations ManagerGus Dinn As Operations Manager Gus oversees all administration in the School. Focused on equalities issues in relation to the workload model and the administrative structure of the School.

Professor David Mattingly

David Mattingly

Professor David Mattingly has been a long-term member of the School, seeing its staff numbers grow from under 10 in the early 1990s to its current numbers. He was appointed Head for 2016/17-2019/20, and served on the group in advance of taking office. As a father he understands the need to be supportive of women and those with family commitments. Examined gender balance and visibility of women on internal and external committees; HR procedures and promotions.

Dr Danielle De Carle

Danielle De Carle

Danielle is a technician in the School. She provides technical support for teaching and research and is responsible for the maintenance and management of the laboratories. Researched induction procedures for new staff

Dr Crysta Kaczmarek (PhD graduate)

Crysta Kaczmarek

Crysta recently completed a PhD focussing on landscape change and cultural interaction in Thessaly in the Roman period. Researched student academic career progression

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