The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in STEM/M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) in higher education and research.

Introduction from the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean

The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences are committed to progressing gender equality, which I see as absolutely integral to our continued development and success. 

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises excellence in employment in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicines (STEMM) in Higher Education.  The beliefs underpinning the Charter are:

  • The advancement of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) is fundamental to equality of life across the globe.
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area.
  • Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until men and women can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

The Charter grew out of two previous initiatives:

The Athena Project was initially set up by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to see how support could be provided for female academic staff in science and engineering disciplines.  Out of one of these grants (to form a Scientific Women's Academic Network) came the idea of the Athena SWAN Charter and awards.  The University of Exeter is a member of the Charter and received Bronze University level status in March 2012.

As Dean, I am personally committed to the principles of the Charter and several working groups exist to implement action plans, encompassing short, medium and long term activities to support the enhancement of careers of women in academia.  It is essential to ensure that there is a culture and environment which supports women to reach their full potential.  My aspiration is to increase the representation and success of female academics at every stage of their career to enhance our advances in both education and research, for the benefit of all.

For details on Athena SWAN activities across the University please see the University Athena SWAN website.  

Alternatively, for more information on the Athena SWAN Charter please visit the Athena SWAN website.

Professor Ken Evans

PVC and Executive Dean of College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physics Sciences

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