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All our departments hold Athena SWAN Bronze awards.

Early Career Researcher Network Events

Inclusivity and Athena SWAN

Inclusivity and Athena SWAN

Inclusivity in CEMPS

We are committed to supporting students and staff to work and study in an environment that promotes equality.

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
Dr Jennifer Catto and Professor Geoffrey Vallis Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science Athena SWAN Working Group (M&CS ASWG)
Dr Corrina Cory and Professor David Butler Chair of Engineering Athena SWAN Working Group (EASWG)
Professor Tim Harries
Chair of Physics and Astronomy Athena SWAN Working Group (PA ASWG)
Dr Hugo Barbosa and Professor Ronaldo Menezes Chair of Computer Science Inclusion Committee (CSIC)

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

We have a very close relationship with the PRISM network and they can be contacted by email:

Equality and Diversity

The University is committed to supporting its staff and students and creating an open, diverse and safe university community for all. View the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity site for contacts, resources and information.

Dignity and respect advisors

Dignity and respect advisors provide a confidential and informal service for anyone involved in cases of harassment or bullying.

Speak out guardians

The Speak Out Guardians support the University in being an open and transparent place to work and study, where all staff and students are actively encouraged and enabled to speak out, specifically about any dignity and respect issues.

Women in Climate

Women in Climate is a network of early career researchers within the climate disciplines of mathematics and geography at the University of Exeter. The network holds monthly meet-ups and discusses a broad range of issues relevant to climate researchers and women in general.

Early Career Researcher Networks 

CEMPS Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN) is a forum for sharing and discussing ideas related to research and careers in academia and beyond. We provide a link between the college, individual departments, and the unique needs of ECRs.

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


LGBTQ+ Staff Network

The LGBTQ+ Staff Network is open to all staff of all sexual orientations and gender identities who would like a secure space to fully express their sexual orientation and/or gender identity without fear of intimidation or harassment. We also welcome those who do not identify as LGBTQ+ but would like to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community by being an ally.

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 »

Athena SWAN

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


April 2020




April 2016

View Mathematics and Computer Science Silver application


Bronze April 2014

View Mathematics and Computer Science Bronze application

Physics and Astronomy


October 2018




April 2015

View Physics and Astronomy Bronze application

Engineering and Camborne School of Mines


September 2019




April 2015

View Engineering and CSM Bronze application

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.

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.