Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter is a national initiative that recognizes the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). More recently, its charter has been expanded to recognize work undertaken in the arts, humanities, social science, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students.

The Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

Charter principles

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, the University is committing to a progressive charter; adopting the following principles within our policies, practices, action plans and culture:

  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.
    • 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)
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:
  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.

Athena SWAN website

Visit the Athena SWAN website

Corporate social responsibility

Sustainability is a core value of the University of Westminster.