Equality and Diversity Matters

The School of Government was awarded Athena SWAN institutional status in 2019 in recognition of its continuing commitment towards the advancement of gender equality including representation, progression, and success for all.

In the School of Government, we are committed to creating a caring, accessible, and inclusive environment in which everyone feels they belong and may thrive. We welcome, value, and embrace diversity in our staff and student body, such as differences in nationality, cultural backgrounds, race, ethnicity, disability, age, class, religion or belief, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

We aim to embed this commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in our teaching and learning practices, our tutorials, our extensive module choices, our curriculum, student representatives and groups, welfare services, research, and the wide range of events and seminars organised. The School of Government will not tolerate any form of bullying, harassment, or discrimination.

Athena Swan Bronze Award (Gender Charter)In its evaluation, the Athena SWAN Charter panel commended the School of Government ‘on its commitment and work to date.’ It highlighted ‘the positive cultural changes the School has achieved in recent years,’ in particular ‘the embedding of equality, diversity and inclusion within the School.’ 

The University of Birmingham currently holds a Bronze Athena SWAN Charter Award. It has also held a Bronze Advance HE Race Equality Charter (REC) Award since May 2020. The University’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Scheme 2021-2024 sets out the University’s strategy for achieving its objective to build a more equal and inclusive environment.

View the Publication of Equality Information 2020, the Gender Pay Gap Report 2020, and the Race Equality Action Plan.

Professor René Lindstädt

Professor René Lindstädt

Head of the School of Government

“The Athena SWAN Bronze status has been a major accomplishment for the School of Government and is testament to the enormous efforts that the School has put into advancing the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda. As a School, we are not only committed to living up to the high expectations that come with this important award, but to further accelerate the advancement of the ED&I agenda and making it a top priority in everything that we do.”

School EDI Committee

Membership 2023/2024

Members of the EDI committee are available to offer informal discussion and peer support with equality-related matters and where applicable help with identifying or locating further sources of support in the University.



Point of contact for:


Dr Mwita Chacha (he/his)

School Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

All/general EDI issues, Academic - POLSIS


Prof Nic Cheeseman

EDI Committee Member

IDD; Athena SWAN co-lead


Dr Ash Stokoe (they/them)

EDI Committee Member

Academic, POLSIS, Early Career Researchers, LGBTQ+ network, Disabled students and staff


Dr Licia Cianetti

EDI Committee Member

Academic, POLSIS


Dr George Kyris

EDI Committee Member

Academic, POLSIS, LGBTQ+ network


Dr Abena Frimpoma Dadze-Arthur 

EDI Committee Member

Academic, INLOGOV


Dr Niheer Dasandi

EDI Committee Member

Academic, IDD


Habibah Amin

EDI Committee Member

Professional Services


Sobia Baig

EDI Committee Member

Professional Services


Dee Pettier (she/her)

EDI Committee Member

Professional Services


Dr Emeka Njoku

EDI Committee Member

Academic, IDD, Athena SWAN co-lead


Prof Stefan Wolff

EDI Committee Member, Head of POLSIS

Academic, POLSIS


Dr Bizuneh Yimenu

EDI Committee Member

Academic, IDD  

Fatima Madani

Undergraduate School EDI student ambassador

Undergraduate students  

Tatheenah Mukulu

Undergraduate School EDI student ambassador 

Undergraduate students  

Yuxiang Lin

Postgraduate Taught School EDI student ambassador

Postgraduate taught students  

School EDI Committee Terms of Reference


  • To offer strategic direction, leadership and support for the promotion and maintenance of equality, diversity, and inclusion within the School of Government
  • To oversee and keep under review the implementation of School EDI strategy and the Athena Swan Action Plan to ensure the School delivers its strategic objectives on EDI. To ensure School actions support EDI in respect of all protected characteristics.
  • To propose and contribute to the development of policies with respect to EDI within the School of Government and CoSS.
  • To ensure School actions on EDI – including the work of the EDI committee – are transparent, with key documents and minutes of meetings available on the School EDI website/intranet and, for the internal purposes of the Committee, on Microsoft Teams
  • To work to build accountability into EDI in the School, building adequate processes that allow the School, Departments and Committee to be held to account in relation to inclusive education, equality in research, and recruitment practices
  • To represent the fullest range possible of minority and under-represented groups, particularly those who experience multiple forms of marginalisation, within the School, including academic and professional services staff, UG and PGT students and doctoral researchers. To include representation from the School LGBTQ+ networks and POLSIS in Colour
  • Develop, collate, and share best practice in EDI across the School, College, University
  • To ensure any labour undertaken as part of the School EDI committee is appropriately recognised and compensated through workload allocation or remuneration if participation does not form part of an existing admin role where participation in the committee would be expected.
  • Support/organise events for the purpose of awareness-raising and community building
  • Oversee the School EDI budget
  • When necessary set up separate working groups to work more intensively on particular projects

Frequency of meetings

  • Three per semester, six per year
  • Basic workload allocation agreed by Heads of Department on the basis of 2 hours per meeting, two hours preparation and follow-up (35 workload points)


  • School EDI Lead, Chair
  • 1-2 additional members of the School Management Team
  • 5-6 academic staff volunteers through open call, should include mix of early and mid-career and senior academics, permanent and fixed term, with representation across all three departments
  • 2-3 Professional Services staff volunteers through open call
  • PGR EDI rep
  • 2-3 UG/PGT EDI ambassadors

Sources of Support

There is a range of sources of support in equality-related matters in the School, College and University. In addition to reaching out to the School Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Dr Charlotte Galpin – c.a.galpin@bham.ac.uk) or an EDI committee member detailed above, the following links and contacts might be helpful.




There is a range of sources of support in equality-related matters in the School, College and University. In addition to reaching out to the School Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Dr Mwita Chacha m.chacha@bham.ac.uk) or an EDI committee member detailed above, the following links and contacts might be helpful.


There are currently no forthcoming events.  For information on any posted events, please contact Mwita Chacha and and the EDI Committee

LGBTQ+ Network

We are a social and support network for all academic staff, students and professional service staff based in the School of Government and its three departments –  Politics and International Studies (POLSIS), International Development Department (IDD) and Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) – who are supportive of, or who identify as, LGBTQ+. We are committed to promoting an inclusive and supportive environment across the School and providing a space for LGBTQ+ staff and students.

Core aims

  • to organise networking, social and educational events aimed at bringing together LGBTQ+ staff and allies, and raising the profile of LGBTQ+ issues across Departments and the School
  • to provide sympathetic and informal peer support for staff and students and to be a first point of contact for those who wish to confidentially discuss sexual orientation or gender identity issues
  • to share information and advice on issues and events relevant to LGBTQ+ staff and students
  • to promote a more comprehensive awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and sensitivities across the activities of Departments and the School, including in curriculum design and teaching
  • To work closely with the Gender and Feminist Research Group to promote interdisciplinary research on sexuality and queer theory

We work closely with the University’s Rainbow Network and share their vision of a workplace where all LGBTQ+ people feel welcomed, included, and able to reach their potential. We also run an exciting series of networking and educational events throughout the academic year which are open to all.

Peer Support

The Rainbow Network offers a range of support wellbeing services available to all staff and students and is able to provide advice and guidance on where further support can be found, where appropriate.

LGBTQ+ staff and allies are also available for informal discussion and peer advice sessions with staff and students who wish to seek support:

Join us

If you would like to join the network’s mailing list, be listed as a peer support contact point or have ideas for events or activities that the network could organise then please contact Dr Charlotte Galpin Associate Professor in German and European Politics, (c.a.galpin@bham.ac.uk)  or Dr George Kyris (G.Kyris@bham.ac.uk), Associate Professor in International Politics in POLSIS. 

Find out more