Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN Bronze Award
Essex Business School is working towards the Athena SWAN Bronze Departmental Award.
The application will drive structural and cultural progress towards ensuring that Essex Business School is a gender equal working and learning environment for all staff, students and visitors.

As part of the application process, we have drawn up an action plan to ensure that championing gender equality is at the heart of our research, teaching and professional practice.

Athena SWAN

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) champions equality in higher education.

It operates the Athena SWAN Charter to recognise work that addresses gender equality in a range of subjects within higher education, including business and the social sciences. It enables universities and departments to apply for awards that recognise their work on championing equality.

Our Athena SWAN self-assessment team has prepared our application. Our Athena SWAN team is united by their expertise, interests and experience.


Our Athena SWAN panel

Professor Claudia Girardone

Director of Research and Professor of Finance

Professor, Essex Business School

As the School’s Director of Research, Professor Claudia Girardone promotes equality and diversity as fundamental principles for achieving research excellence. She embeds these principles in research policies, practices and culture. Professor Girardone has undertaken a number of career development opportunities provided by the University of Essex. Most recently, she has attended a course on measuring research quality and benchmarking performance against other universities.

Dr Svetlana Warhurst

Doctor of Management Science and Entrepreneurship

Senior Lecturer, Essex Business School

Dr Svetlana Warhurst is the School’s Education Director and works to ensure that our students experience a transformative education in an inclusive and diverse community. She has undertaken professional development courses within the University, including our Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Leaders programme. She has also taken part in leadership training with the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

 Alex Nicholas

Academic Officer and Deputy Manager

Professional Services, Essex Business School

Alex Nicholas is Academic Officer and Deputy Manager at our Southend Campus and the Unison Branch Equality Officer for the University of Essex. He is particularly interested in LGBTQI equality. As a trade union representative, Alex promotes equality in the workplace and ensures that equality issues are considered in collective bargaining. He seeks to ensure that every worker receives fair treatment irrespective of their gender, race, disability, religion, age or sexuality. He was part of the self- assessment team for the University’s Gender Equality Chartermark application. He has completed a TUC accredited Equality Representatives course and has recently completed his Executive MBA with Essex Business School.

 Alison Clarke

PhD Candidate

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Essex Business School

Alison Clarke is undertaking her PhD at Essex Business School, exploring the under-representation of women on corporate boards. Her work seeks to advance equality and diversity debates beyond traditional, categorical thinking to recognise gender complexity and multiplicity. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Alison also promotes gender equality through her research-led teaching within the School. She also contributes to seminars and events organised by our Centre for Work, Organisations and Society.

 Darren Herbert

Student Services Advisor

Professional Services,

Darren Herbert is a Student Services Advisor at our Colchester Campus. As part of the School’s students services team, Darren and his colleagues are often the first port of call for students looking for advice. Darren works closely with the University’s Student Services Hub and signposts students to relevant support services. Darren has undertaken mental health first aid training, as well as professional development around managing difficult conversations.