Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) is at the centre of everything that we do in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). We are determined in our commitment to provide a supportive environment in which we value differences, respect diversity and treat each other with equality and respect.

We are supported in our commitment by:

  • A Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (BIDE) Committee
  • Athena SWAN Team
  • Forum for Women Staff (the Campbell Group)
  • EDI Champions
  • EDI Liaison Officers

ECS was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Award in April 2020 and is currently implementing an Action Plan to further improve gender equity. Alongside many other activities we also run initiatives for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), which was a University Vice-Chancellor’s Award Finalist in 2019.

Over the last 5 years we have increased outreach activities to encourage people from underrepresented groups to study computer science or electronics. Once here, these groups are also supported by new scholarships for underrepresented groups and an internship scheme for women students. We have improved job descriptions, advertising and appointment criteria to ensure vacancies are attractive to all, and in particular to women. We ensure that our staff can take maternity or parental leave without fear of harming their longer-term career ambitions.

I was appointed Deputy Head of School (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) in August 2022. ECS is one of the first schools to have my role, and it reflects how seriously we take Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. At a personal level, it’s a clear sign for me and the BIDE Committee to go full steam ahead with activities and initiatives, in the knowledge that they will be supported. ECS has made a lot of progress in the last four years in tackling inequality, and in addressing the barriers that prevent everyone, especially women who are the largest underrepresented group, from progressing equitably.


Professor Chris Freeman


ECS has a thriving mentoring scheme that launched in 2017. The initiative is enriching our culture by providing a supportive environment for personal development. The mentoring process allows time and space for discussion and personal reflection. It is widely available and relevant to every individual in the School, irrespective of their level of seniority or job family.

Unlike other mentoring schemes used in companies and large institutions, individuals are not paired with a specific mentor. The ECS approach is open and welcoming, and the activities are separate from any line management structure. We also run annual career and promotion training.

ECS also has an active professional training programme delivered by external and internal experts.

Wellbeing Champions

Fostering a positive and productive working environment is a key priority in ECS, and the School has 3 proactive Wellbeing Champions supporting the community. Professor Michael Ng offers regular Tai Chi sessions to ECS colleagues and staff demonstrated their skills at a recent Chinese New Year celebration in the city centre. He has further hosted well-received Kung Fu and virtual Chinese Baduanjin Health Qigong activities. Dr Shelly Vishwakarma has been offering yoga sessions weekly. ECS provides yoga mats to staff who attend these sessions.

As part of her human performance research, Professor m.c. schraefel has been exploring how to translate complex interactions into approachable health practices. She runs a variety of health and wellbeing explorations that take the shape of seminars on the phyisology and neurology of stress through to six-week explorations of daily push ups. In these, her goal is to help the ECS community and beyond build the knowledge skills and practice both to feel and so perform better, across contexts.

The Campbell Group

The Campbell Group is a staff forum for women associated with ECS. Founded in 2019, the Group is named after Mrs Mary Campbell, former School Manager, and Dr Ishbel Grace MacNaughton Campbell, a pioneering chemist who came to Southampton in 1938. The Group generates ideas on how to improve the working environment for all ECS staff, provides advice on ECS processes, strategy and initiatives, supports one another and shares information on emerging opportunities. The Group’s recommendations have included the introduction of a monthly newsletter for internal communications, the development of an improved ECS Induction Programme, a suite of documents and workshops to support EDI in ECS, wellbeing talks and the and the appointment of Wellbeing Champions. Representatives of The Campbell Group are members of the ECS Strategy Committee. The Campbell Group was a University Vice-Chancellor’s Awards Finalist in 2023.

Our Stories

Read Amanda's Story

Amanda Goodacre

Read Mark's Story


Read Jo's Story

Jo Axtell

Read Sarah's Story

Professor Sarah Morris