What is Athena SWAN?
The Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.
In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
Why is it important?
The Athena SWAN application process enables departments to reflect on, and celebrate, current organisational and cultural practices that promote gender equality. Athena SWAN also offers a valuable framework for introducing sustainable cultural changes that create a better working environment for both men and women. Soon, Athena Swan accreditation at Silver award level will be necessary when making funding applications to the NIHR, and it is expected other funding bodies will follow suit.
What does it mean to you?
We are continuously seeking to improve our policies and practices and embed equality in our day-to-day activities. We are currently working from our Silver Athena SWAN Award Action Plan to implement initiatives to enhance the department for all. Click on the additional links on the left hand side of this page for more information and guidance on our Athena SWAN work.