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Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises excellence in science, engineering and technology employment in higher education.


The beliefs underpinning the charter 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.

These beliefs lead to the six principles of the charter.

Charter Principles

The six principles which Charter members are asked to accept and to incorporate into their action plans are:

  1. To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation.
  2. To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation.
  3. The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine.
  4. The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address.
  5. The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the university recognises.
  6. There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation.

The Department of Physics was awarded Athena SWAN Silver Status in 2010; this award was renewed in 2013 and 2017

Silver department— The award recognises that in addition to university-wide policies, the department has a significant record of activity and achievement and has identified particular challenges, has implemented activities and can demonstrate the impact of these so far.

The University of Warwick has been an Athena SWAN Silver holder since 2013

Silver university— The award recognises that the university overall demonstrates a significant record of activity and achievement in promoting gender equality and in addressing challenges in different disciplines.


More Information

Athena SWAN Charter
The Athena SWAN website

Athena SWAN at the University of Warwick
Athena SWAN activities at Warwick

Press release by the University of Warwick concerning its Athena SWAN status
The University of Warwick’s Athena SWAN submissions and supporting documents

Staff Profiles