Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at SOTA

The School of the Arts is committed to embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) as core principles that inform every level of the School, for both staff and students. 

There are two EDI Leads in the School who coordinate all activities: 


Fei Chen

Academic Lead and EDI Committee Co-Chair, Senior Lecturer in Architecture

Steph Kehoe

Professional Services Lead and EDI Committee Co-Chair, Project and Data Coordinator


Each department has a dedicated EDI Champions who promotes EDI at the local level. They are assisted by local working groups to identify problems and progress actions.  

EDI Champions

Nick Webb 

Architecture Champion, Lecturer

Gary Needham

Communications and Media Champion, Senior Lecturer

Natalie Hanna

English Champion, Lecturer

Mike Jones

Music Champion, Senior Lecturer

Katherine Furman

Philosophy Champion, Lecturer

Emily Kelly

Professional Services Champion, Attendance Officer


EDI Committee membership

The EDI Committee includes all staff members noted above, along with further representatives from a wide breadth of roles, grades and levels of study within the School. 

The Committee reports into the Senior Management Team and other EDI related Committees across the Institution, including Faculty and University level. 

Other members of the EDI Committee, in addition to those listed above are: 

Peter Buse


Steve Winterton

Head of School Operations

Katia Balabanova

Associate Dean, Research and Impact

Freya Jarman

Reader, Music

Helen Thomas

Artistic Coordinator & Public Engagement Officer 

Caterina Guardamagna 

Lecturer, English 

Student representatives

To be confirmed


Athena SWAN at SOTA

Here at the School of the Arts, we are currently working on our Bronze Athena SWAN application, which is going to be submitted in 2021. Working alongside the EDI Committee, the application recognises both strengths and areas of improvement that the School can make towards gender parity. This is support by a comprehensive action plan which is measured regularly.   

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles . By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committed to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture. For more information visit ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter website .

Back to: School of the Arts