Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme run by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) which recognises excellence in gender equality in Higher Education. The charter was initially set up to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) but has recently been expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL). There are three levels to the scheme - Bronze, Silver and Gold.

The University of Exeter is a member of the Charter and received Bronze University level status in March 2012. Physics at Exeter achieved Athena SWAN Bronze status in 2015 and are currently working towards Silver status.

The Charter Principles

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles:

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:
    • the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
    • the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.
  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

For details on Athena SWAN activities in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences please see the CEMPS Athena SWAN website.

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

For more information on the Athena SWAN Charter, please see the ECU Athena SWAN Charter website.