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Athena SWAN


A collage of photos showing activity in the department

The Athena SWAN Charter, in the UK run by AdvanceHE, is an international framework established in 2005, to support and achieve gender equality within higher education and research. It developed out work by the Athena Forum and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) at Lund University. The Charter has several key principles, for which participating institutions demonstrate their support, including:


  • embedding diversity, equality and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our department accountable;
  • undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes;
  • tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments;
  • understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities and issues faced by trans and non-binary people because of their identity;
  • examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice and career opportunities of under-valued and at-risk groups;
  • mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks, and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’;
  • mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.


We were awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN Award in 2017, and were awarded a Silver Award in December 2022. The process of application involves a collaborative effort across the department, organised by a self-assessment team. Together, the team runs substantial audits of various systemic mechanisms, from student admissions and performance, through research activities, to the composition of senior management and the decisions they make that affect the environment of the department, and how these intersect with the Athena SWAN principles. This is presented in an application that sets out the data, how we have embedded the Athena SWAN principles into our systems and culture, areas for further growth, and a SMART action plan.

You can view our Athena SWAN Bronze award application here: Athena SWAN Bronze Application Archaeology

You can view our Athena SWAN Silver award application here: Athena SWAN Silver Application Archaeology