These principles represent the first output of the Charter transformation work, and have been developed based on engagement with Athena Swan members in summer 2020 and through the expert input of the Athena Swan Governance Committee.
The Principles of the Athena Swan Charter articulate positive statements that participating institutions demonstrate their support for. Acceptance of these Principles underpins the Athena Swan Awards, a framework for sustainable change through which participating institutions enhance their inclusivity and performance, with a particular focus on gender equality. The Awards recognise commitment and achievement in upholding the Principles and driving positive change.
Institutions and departments across the UK can use the updated Principles to help focus and structure their gender equality work and to highlight their ongoing commitment to gender equality to their staff, students and wider community.
These principles will act as the foundation for the transformed Charter, with all other elements – including criteria, application and assessment – aligned to the commitments and values enshrined within the Principles.
Kathryn Harrison-Graves, Director for Membership and Accreditation, said, " We recognised the need to update the UK Charter Principles in order to deliver the change desired by the sector, articulated through the recent independent review of Athena Swan. We are also keen to ensure that the Charter Principles are meaningfully embedded in the Charter framework and processes.
"The new Charter Principles support the recommendations of the independent review of Athena Swan, for example, ensuring that the Charter reflects gender as a spectrum, that applicants are supported to address issues relating to the intersectionality of gender with other protected characteristics, and that institutions and departments recognise and support the efforts of individuals working on Athena Swan.
"In line with our objective to undertake the transformation work in a collaborative and transparent manner, we are releasing all outputs as they are finalised. We are sharing the updated Charter Principles now, but Athena Swan participants can be assured that they will not be asked to recommit to these Principles until the new Charter is fully developed in early 2021."