All our departments hold Athena SWAN Bronze awards, and Mathematics and Computer Science also holds a Silver award. 

Inclusivity toolkit Early Career Researcher Network Events

Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN charter accredits institutions and their departments, in recognition of their commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. Its founding principles are:

  • The advancement of Science, Engineering and Technology is fundamental to quality 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 women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

The University is a proud member of the Athena SWAN Charter and has held a Bronze institutional award since November 2011. All departments at Exeter are committed to holding an Athena SWAN award. The Bronze Award recognises a department or institution’s achievements in progressing gender equality with their organisation, together with a commitment to future improvement. An Athena SWAN Silver award is granted in recognition of the positive impact of actions that a department or institute has undertaken to encourage the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in their organisation.

DepartmentAward levelDate achievedApplication

Mathematics and Computer Science

Silver April 2016

View Mathematics and Computer Science Athena SWAN application here

Engineering and CSM

Bronze April 2015 View Engineering and CSM Athena SWAN application here

Physics and Astronomy

Bronze April 2015 View Physics and Astronomy Athena SWAN application here

Mathematics and Computer Science

Bronze April 2014 View Mathematics and Computer Science Bronze Athena SWAN application here

Discipline leads

The CEMPS Athena SWAN Discipline Leads chair each department's working groups, which work towards achieving Athena SWAN Accreditation, as well as addressing other equality, diversity, and inclusivity concerns within their departments.

If you are interested in getting involved in a working group, or would like advice on inclusivity in your work, please contact the lead for your discipline.

ContactDepartmental working group name
Professor Mark P. Baldwin Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science Athena SWAN Working Group (M&CS ASWG)
Professor Paul Reynolds Chair of Engineering Athena SWAN Working Group (EASWG)
Professor Nick Stone
Chair of Physics and Astronomy Athena SWAN Working Group (PA ASWG)

Find out more about equality and diversity representatives' roles and the representatives for other colleges.

Dignity and respect advisors

View contact details for the University's Dignity and Respect advisors »

Early Career Researcher Network leads

Engineering (Penryn and CSM) Clemens Ullmann

University webpage
Twitter @EngineeringECN

Engineering (Exeter) Maria Rosaria Marsico

University website
Twitter @EngineeringECN

Mathematics and Computer Science Anna Harper

University website
Twitter @MathsCS_ECN

Physics Maria WeberJessica Mansfield and Ben Gardner

University website

The University is committed to supporting its staff and students. 

See Resources and useful contacts pages.

Frequently asked questions

What does Athena SWAN mean?

The Athena Forum was set up by the Royal Institute in 1999 to help Universities work towards gender equality and good practice. The idea of a charter came out of the SWAN - Scientific Women’s Academic Network. The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in 2005 and since then over 65 Universities have joined the Charter.

Is Athena SWAN only relevant for women?

No.  Certain cultural issues and bad practice currently disadvantage women, but good practice benefits everyone. For example, flexible working policies do not just benefit working mothers, they will also support fathers and carers as well as the social lives, productivity and wellbeing of all staff.

Will this be an ongoing process?

Yes. Subject Disciplines are currently working towards applying for a silver award. Once the majority of STEM/M subjects have achieved a silver award, the University can then apply for a silver award. After that, subject disciplines will be looking towards applying for gold.

The process doesn’t stop once an award has been achieved. Every 3 years the University or discipline has to apply for re-accreditation, providing evidence that they are still upholding the charter’s principles, and that they are developing and building on their initiatives, policies and practices to support the career development of female staff.

Does the University see women as needing ‘special help’?

It has been recognised that female academics are not progressing within academic careers. This does not mean that women are not able, willing or ambitious enough to progress within academia, but rather that there are structural and cultural issues that either prevent or deter women from staying within academic careers. The focus of Athena SWAN, and the University of Exeter is to understand, challenge and change these factors in order to support the career development of women.

The 'One Step Beyond' Mentoring Scheme is a cross-College scheme, open to both research and academic staff in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES) and the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS). Participating in the scheme is an entirely voluntary, but formal, arrangement whereby an experienced individual, outside the reporting relationship, holds either one-off or regular meetings to support the development of a less experienced member of staff.

Mentees can approach a mentor directly utilising the online mentor database or be matched with a mentor. All mentoring relationships are established through liaison with the mentor, for a frequency and duration which suits both individuals. Our members can also post questions or requests for mentoring about a range of or specific issue(s) in an online forum, which all members of the scheme: mentors and mentees, can view and respond to. Read more »