School of Philosophy and Art History

Equality and inclusion

​Promoting gender equality

The School of Philosophy and Art History aims to treat all staff and students who are part of the School, and also visitors to the School, equally in all relevant respects.

Our School has 23 permanent academic members of staff, 11 of whom are women. About 50% of our overall postgraduate students are women, however the gender distribution is still uneven in both Philosophy and Art History and we therefore remain committed to improving this. The majority of our undergraduate population in Philosophy, Art History and Interdisciplinary Studies is female, around 55:45%.

We acknowledge that historically women and minorities have been disadvantaged in many aspects of university and academic life, through both conscious and unconscious assumptions, biases, and prejudices, and through unfavourable practical arrangements. We are committed to changing this situation. We believe that the School in general will benefit academically, intellectually, and socially from an energetic commitment to promoting equality.

This commitment entails that all students and staff of the School should strive to be conscious of ways in which their behaviour may be disrespectful, detrimental or damaging to the activities and equal status of women and other underrepresented groups.

It is part of the responsibility of everyone in the School to maintain an atmosphere for work and study in which equality is the norm. On occasions, this may require us to bring contrary behaviour to the attention of the person concerned, as well as to accept appropriate criticism of our own behaviour.

Our commitment to equality

Our commitment to equality involves consideration of the following:

  • ensuring a female presence on committees and decision-making bodies within the School
  • ensuring female participation in selection processes, for example regarding applications for PGT and PGT studentships, and regarding posts (academic and administrative) within the School)
  • giving consideration to the representation of female and minority thinkers, writers, and artists on the syllabi for modules within the School
  • taking measures to allow female and underrepresented voices to be adequately heard during seminars, discussions, question and answer sessions, etc

In terms of broader professional activities, our commitment to equality involves consideration of the following:

  • invitation of female and minority speakers when setting up conferences
  • inclusion of female and minority authors when editing collections of articles
  • inclusion of female and minority representation on editorial/advisory boards
  • awareness of possible implicit bias when refereeing/assessing non-anonymised work

Celebrating women in Philosophy and Art History

We're proud of our female members and their outstanding achievements and we're honoured to showcase their work.

Olamide smiling and wearing a yellow top.
Rising Star Award for inspirational graduate

The day after graduating with a BA in Philosophy and Politics at Essex, Olamide Odanye was named Rare Rising Star at the House of Commons. The award was in recognition of her extensive volunteering and mentoring work.

Read more

Teaching and research on gender and feminism

Many of us carry out research on gender equality and related issues.

This is also reflected in our teaching, notably through our Feminism module.

Resources for all in the school

Our school fosters an inclusive research and teaching environment. Below is a list of some of the resources available to those in the school and across the University of Essex.