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STEM Conference 2021

Athena Swan Patrons

Joining the Charters team in promoting gender equality

In 2015, three high profile figures from the academic community became patrons of the Athena Swan Charter. Sir Paul Nurse, Professor Helen Beebee and Professor Sir Cary Cooper have a huge knowledge of, and experience of working in, different academic fields. Their different experiences, and fields of knowledge, reflect and complement the increased breadth of the expanded Charter’s scope.

They join existing patron Professor Dame Julia Higgins, who has served as patron since 2011, and was one of the founding members of the Charter.

Athena Swan and Advance HE Membership

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

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Our patrons

Professor Dame Julia Higgins

Julia Higgins is emeritus professor of polymer science in the department of chemical engineering at Imperial College London. Athena SWAN Charter patron since 2011 and one of the founding members of the Charter.


Professor Helen Beebee

Helen Beebee is Samuel Hall Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manchester. She was Director of the British Philosophical Association from 2007 to 2011, during which time she established the BPA and Society for Women in Philosophy UK’s joint Committee for Women in Philosophy, which she co-chairs with Jenny Saul

Professor Sir Car Cooper

Cary L. Cooper is the author and editor of more than 150 scholarly books and is one of Britain's most quoted business gurus. He is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

Sir Paul Nurse

Paul Nurse is President of the Royal Society and Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and has served as Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and President of Rockefeller University, New York.

Applying for Athena Swan

Advance HE Membership provides access to Athena Swan. Once your institution is a member you can then apply for an institutional or departmental Athena Swan award.

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More about Athena Swan

Applying for an Athena Swan Charter award

Transform gender equality in your institution through an Advance HE Athena Swan award.
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Research institutes

Athena Swan in research institutes.
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Charter participants

Institutional participants and the awards that they hold.
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Panellist and observers

Information on becoming a panellist or observer.
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Good Practice Initiatives

Athena Swan good practice initiatives in higher education institutions.
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Frequently asked questions about the Athena Swan Charter in the UK.
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Athena Swan Charter review

The current review of the Athena Swan charter in the UK.
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