The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM). The following principles were agreed:
- To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation
- To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation
- The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine
- The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address
- The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises
These six principles represent the cornerstone of Athena SWAN; to join the Charter, vice-chancellors or principals must indicate that their institution will take action to address these areas. There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation.
In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:
- academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
- professional and support staff
- trans staff and students
In relation to their:
- progression of students into academia
- journey through career milestones
- working environment for all staff
UHI is currently working towards a bronze award and formalising its commitment to the aims of the charter. The application will be taken forward by the UHI Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (SAT). The SAT is drawn from staff across the Academic Partnership and Executive Office and from a range of disciplines and career stages.
For more information, or if you would like to join the SAT, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have an dedicated twitter account for our Athena Swan updates, please follow us if you are interested in the progress of our application and our Athena Swan related activity.