The  Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used around the world to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research.

Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEMM subjects, the Charter is now being employed to enact change across all university faculties and has been a powerful tool for lasting change.

Our Athena Swan Bronze Award was conferred in 2020, which means that we successfully demonstrated our commitment to making change happen. The Bronze Award involves the collection of staff and student data over a number of years, carefully analysing and reporting on this data, and then articulating a realistic programme for change based on this analysis. 

A copy of our submission is available on request

We are now working towards our application for the Athena Swan Silver Award, which involves implementing that programme for change identified in our Bronze Award submission. 

If you would like to get involved please do get in touch with either of our Athena Swan leads, Dr Jos Smith or Prof Alison Donnell.


We are committed to adopting the ten key principles within the Athena Swan Charter:

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all

  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles

  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:
    - The relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law 
    - The particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine

  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap

  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career

  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women

  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people

  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles

  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality

  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible