Women in engineering and computing


Women in Engineering and Computing

The Faculty of Engineering has a strong commitment to supporting women in engineering and computing and this is reflected in the number of female academics and students working and studying within the Faculty.

Over 20% of staff and students in the Faculty are female, and over the past five years our actions have resulted in positive changes in a number of areas including:

  • A significant increase in the proportion of female MSc and PhD students in the Faculty; almost 30% of our PhD students are female
  • The number of female professors has increased from 5 (8%) to 11 (16%), which is well above the national average
  • We have female staff in senior management positions and have female representation on every significant decision making committee in the Faculty
  • We have launched a successful student led Women's Engineering Society.

Read our silver award submission and action plan.

Athena SWAN Charter

The Faculty of Engineering has received a prestigious Athena SWAN Silver Award from the Equality Challenge Unit, the national body that promotes equality in the higher education sector. The Silver Award is given in recognition of the strong and continued commitment to gender equality in the Faculty and reflects the significant progress made over the past five years. 

We are only the second university in the whole of the UK to receive a Silver Award for all engineering and computing departments. 

The award represents the combined efforts of all five schools in the Faculty and has been awarded only two and a half years after achieving the first stage Bronze Award. The Silver Award demonstrates that the Faculty has taken positive actions to ensure that policies, processes and ethos all promote an equal and inclusive environment for work and study. 

You can find out more about our current staff and their career journeys in our staff profiles booklet, Footsteps: A Journey In Science.

Women of Achievement

Several members of staff in the Faculty have received University of Leeds Women of Achievement awards, recognising their substantial achievements and commitment in their field and to the University: 

Women at Leeds Network (WaLN)

As part of the University’s support for women there is an active network, WaLN for all female staff and postgraduate students. The network runs monthly lunchtime meetings, evening events and supports an annual conference to bring together female colleagues from across disciplines.

Meetings cover a range of topics including invited speakers who share their experiences, career development such as fellowships and promotions, maternity leave and work-life balance and personal development such as confidence, mindfulness, unconscious bias.

Student Women’s Engineering Society

There is a student led society in the Faculty of Engineering, an affiliated student group of the Women’s Engineering Society, who aim to strengthen the link between female students by providing an exciting range of events to network.

Equality and Inclusion

We have a range of family friendly policies including generous maternity and paternity leave and offer policies to support work life balance. The University's equality and inclusion webpage provides more information. 

Useful links

Listed below are some organisations, which have been set up specifically to offer advice and guidance to women considering a future career in engineering: