Students Staff
University of Essex

Gender equality

Essex Business School is a place where staff and students recognise each other as valued members of our department and wider academic community. We work together with mutual respect and integrity. We value a working and learning environment in which people are free to be themselves. The School respects the multi-dimensional lives of all its members and is committed to creating and supporting a learning and working environment in which staff and students can flourish in all aspects of their work and lives.

Athena SWAN

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) champions equality in higher education. It operates the Athena SWAN Charter to enable universities and departments to apply for awards that recognise their work on championing equality.

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.

Our Athena SWAN panel

Our Athena SWAN self-assessment team has prepared our application. The team includes the Dean, Professor Geoff Wood, and staff and students from the School, united by their expertise, interests and experience.

Read profiles from some of our panel:

  • Professor Claudia Girardone

    Professor Claudia Girardone

    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 taken advantage of 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

    Dr Svetlana Warhurst

    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 numerous professional development courses within the University, including our Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Leaders programme. She has also undertaken leadership training with the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

  • Alex Nicholas

    Alex Nicholas

    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 has previously been a member of the self- assessment team for the University’s Gender Equality Chartermark application. He has completed a TUC accredited Equality Representatives course and is currently studying his MBA with Essex Business School, alongside his employment with us.

  • Alison Clarke

    Alison Clarke

    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

    Darren Herbert

    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.

Our work on equality

We publish journal articles and working papers on issues of equality and our Centre for Work, Organisation and Society organises regular seminars. Recent examples have included:

Equality and professional development resources

The University of Essex has a number of resources to support the promotion of equality and EBS supports staff to undertake career development training and advice.

Harassment, violence and bullying

Essex is proud to be an inclusive community and works hard to create a safe and welcoming environment. We have a zero tolerance policy on harassment, violence and bullying. For more details, please see:


Melissa Tyler

If you have any questions, wish to make suggestions or would like to discuss any aspect of the School’s work on gender equality, please speak to the School Equality and Inclusion Co-ordinator: