Athena SWAN


Athena Swan Bronze Award

The University is proud to have achieved the Bronze Institutional award with Athena Swan.

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). Owing to the acknowledged personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, 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. 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.

The 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:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

UHI is proud to have formalised its commitment to the aims of the expanded Charter. The UHI Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (SAT) is drawn from staff across the Academic Partnership and Executive Office and from a range of disciplines and career stages. We are now working towards achieving individual departmental awards at both Bronze and Silver level.

For more information on issues relating to Athena Swan, or to join the SAT please contact

Our Athena Swan Application 2016 and action plan for addressing points raised in our award is also available for download. The Institutional award was made according to the pre-May 2015 Charter.

We also have an dedicated twitter account for our Athena Swan updates, please follow us if you are interested in our Athena Swan related activity.

Twitter icon@UHI_AthenaSwan