What is Athena SWAN?
Launched in June 2005, the Athena SWAN charter recognises and celebrates employment practices that address gender inequality in higher education and research.
Athena SWAN was originally aimed at improving the representation and progression of female academics in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM). From April 2015, Athena has been opened up to Schools in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law departments and also has a focus on female Professional Services staff, in addition to the primary objective of improving the recruitment, progression and retention of female academics.
Athena SWAN at UoB
The University is committed to the aims and principles of Athena SWAN. We were awarded our first University-wide bronze award in 2011 and again in 2014. We aspire to all of our Schools achieving Athena awards and continually improving our progress. The majority of Schools in the Colleges of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences and Medical and Dental Sciences hold Athena awards.
Professor Una Martin, DPVC for Equalities: 'I believe we must encourage each and every person to flourish whilst removing barriers to success. Equality is central to our core mission to be a global force in teaching and research. Embedding the aims and principles of Athena SWAN in our culture is absolutely vital if we are to benefit from the talents of all.'
The Equality Executive Group oversees the University's Athena SWAN applications, and monitors progress across the University. Schools have their own Athena self-assessment teams (SAT) to progress gender equality and implement their local Athena action plans.
Susan Squire is UoB's Staff Diversity Adviser with responsibility for coordinating our Athena work. Please contact Susan if you have any questions about Athena SWAN.