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). Since April 2015, Athena has been opened up to Schools in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law departments. It now has a focus on female Professional Services staff, as well as broader gender equality, 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 currently hold an Athena Bronze Award as an institution and aspire to all of our Schools achieving Athena awards. The majority of Schools in the Colleges of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences and Medical and Dental Sciences hold Athena awards, with a growing number held in the Colleges of Arts and Law and Social Sciences. You can view the University's Athena Swan awards here.
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.
A brief overview of the levels of awards and the awards process is available here.
The Advance HE Athena Swan Charter site has more detailed information about the awards and the assessment process, including the forms to be completed.
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.