There are many types of responses globally by universities to the promotion of gender and other kinds of equality in higher education. A common one can be described as institutional or organisational resistance. It is reflected in the endorsement of legitimating discourses such as excellence, choice, gender neutrality and a revitalised biological essentialised discourse. All of these implicitly deny that there is an organisational problem. Other strategies include challenging the data or focusing on ‘fixing’ those experiencing inequality. In so far as gender or other bases of inequality are recognised, the institutional focus can be on undertaking time consuming activities which deliver organisational awards (such as Athena SWAN (AS)) or Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). Such activities can increase awareness of gender and diversity, can create rhetorical or marginal change while not actually producing change in the gender profile of academic staff, in the organisational culture or in bringing about organisational transformation.