what is athena swan?
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. The charter has since expanded to recognise work undertaken in the disciplines of arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL). This expanded remit includes staff in professional and support roles, trans staff and students, and recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just the barriers to progression that affect women.
why is it important?
The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles which aim to advance gender equality and reduce discrimination through sustained structural and cultural change within Higher Education.
The Charter considers:
- progression of students into academia
- journey through career milestones
- working environment for all staff
what does it mean to you?
Athena SWAN is a driver for change in culture and attitudes. As an Athena SWAN Silver award holder, we are committed to creating a better working environment for all and, through feedback mechanisms such as surveys and focus groups, we regularly review, revise and improve our policies and practices to ensure that equality becomes entrenched in our everyday activities. Key developments to date include:
- a more effective induction process for new staff in the Department;
- introduction of grant writing workshops to support early career researchers;
- profile raising for junior researchers through profile pages on the DPAG website;
- improved communication through the DPAG Digest and Twitter account;
- creation of an annual Departmental Away Day to improve sense of community within the Department.
We are working towards our Athena SWAN Silver renewal application and, as part of that process, will use staff and student feedback to consider where we have made progress and where we still need to improve.
Click here to find out more about our applications, action plans and self-assessment teams (SATs).