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Athena Swan Charter

Encouraging and recognising commitment to advancing gender equality.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Advance HE members can apply for institutional and departmental Athena Swan awards recognising their gender equality efforts.

Please note: the Athena Swan UK Charter framework has recently undergone a transformation to ensure its suitability for the future of the higher education sector. The new framework is ready for new and existing members to use from the 30th of June 2021 onwards. Athena Swan Charter practitioners may continue working with the post-May 2015 framework until November 2022.

Find out more about our transformed UK Athena Swan Charter

Click the link below to be taken to the extensive range of resources and guidance we have available on the new Charter framework.

Find out more

Diversity monitoring data and the UK Athena Swan Charter

We are revising our data monitoring guidance to give more clarity when collecting data that relates to sex as a protected characteristic and the Equality Act 2010, and when collecting data for work to create a more inclusive culture. We are working with the sector-led Athena Swan Governance Committee to make these changes and will share with the sector in the coming weeks. You can read more about this here.

93% of Champions believe that the Charter has had a positive impact on gender issues in their university, department or research institute.

Advance HE’s Athena Swan Charter covers all gender identities in:

• academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
• professional, managerial and support staff roles

In relation to their:

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

Athena Swan principles

The Athena Swan Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena Swan, institutions are committing to a progressive Charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practice, action plans and culture.

  • We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  • 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.
  • 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 (AHSSBL)
    • the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)
  • We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  • 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.
  • We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  • We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.
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Athena Swan guidance and FAQs

To make it easier for you to find everything you need, we have moved our guidance, templates and good practice examples to support your Athena Swan Charter award submission into an easily downloadable information pack. Just fill in the form below and we will send you an email with everything you need. 

We have an extensive FAQs section which contains answers to commonly raised questions about all aspects of Athena Swan, from submitting your application to results. 

We also have an extensive FAQs section on the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter.

Athena Swan and Advance HE Membership

In the UK Advance HE Membership provides access to Athena Swan. Choose how to access our membership.

Find out more
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Events

Advance HE are hosting a number events to inform and guide members on the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter. You can book onto events below and also watch recordings of previous events. 

Collecting and analysing your data

This webinar held on 2 November 2021 was designed to prepare Athena Swan Charter members in the UK to collect and analyse data for an application under the transformed Charter.

We are no longer taking bookings for this event.
Recording coming soon

Assessing your culture and reviewing your policies

This webinar held on 25 November 2021 at 10:00-12:00 GMT was designed to support Athena Swan Charter members in the UK to assess your culture and review your policies for an application under the transformed Charter.

We are no longer taking bookings for this event.
Recording coming soon

Identifying your priorities and creating your action plan

This webinar on 14 December 2021 at 10:00-12:00 GMT is designed to support Athena Swan Charter members in the UK to identify gender equality priorities and develop an action plan as part of an application under the transformed Charter.
Book your place

Evaluating your action plan and evidencing success

This webinar on 2 February 2022 at 10:00-12:00 is designed to support Athena Swan Charter members in the UK to evaluate your action plan and evidence success as part of an application under the transformed Charter.
Book your place

University and Department introduction to the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter

Advance HE hosted an online dissemination event on Friday 30 July 2021 for University and Department practitioners.
Watch the recording

Research Institute introduction to the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter

Advance HE hosted an online dissemination event on Monday 9 August 2021 for Research Institute practitioners.
Watch the recording

Professional, Technical and Operational Directorate practitioners introduction to the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter

Advance HE hosted an online dissemination event on Tuesday 10 August 2021 for Professional, Operational, and Technical (PTO) Directorates.
Watch the recording
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More about Athena Swan

Remote Developmental Review

We provide universities and research institutes the opportunity to receive feedback on a draft organisation-level application for free once per five-year cycle.
Find out more

Applying for an Athena Swan Charter award

Transform gender equality in your institution through an Advance HE Athena Swan award.
Find out more

Research institutes

Athena Swan in research institutes.
Find out more

Good Practice Initiatives

Athena Swan good practice initiatives in higher education institutions.
Find out more

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Athena Swan Charter in the UK.
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Patrons

Bringing their academic expertise and backgrounds in gender equality to support and champion the Athena Swan Charter principles.
Find out more

The transformed UK Athena Swan Charter

New and existing applicants can apply to work towards the enhanced version of the Charter from 30th of June 2021.
Find out more

The new panel for the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter

As part of the new Charter transformation there was revised roles for panel members.
Find out more

Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions

Call for UK Athena Swan members to partner with Indian higher education institutions and research institutes on an exciting new project
Find out more

Athena Swan Charter review

More information about the review of the Athena Swan charter in the UK.
Find out more

Charter participants

Institutional participants and the awards that they hold.
Find out more

Interested in finding out more about the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter?

An extensive range of resources and guidance are available on the new Charter framework.

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