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Athena SWAN

Athena Swan has been operating since 2005 in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine disciplines (STEMM), of the Higher Education sector, with the aim of increasing the number of women choosing a career in these traditionally male dominated subject areas.

In May 2015, the initiative, managed by the Equality Challenge Unit, was expanded to include the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the remit has broadened to include consideration of professional/ support staff (and trans-gender staff and students, at the institutional level). The new Athena Swan replaces the Gender Equality Charter Mark (GEM), which was piloted in 2014.

What are we doing?

We are currently working on our submission for a Bronze Athena Swan Award, with the intention to submit an application in April 2018. We already have an action plan to address gender balance in our staff and student body, which guides the progress we are making in this area.

To help develop and deliver the submission we established a steering group in the department and have developed an action plan that sets out initiatives and actions which will drive improvements for our students and staff.

Bronze awards recognise that an institution/ department has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and for developing an inclusive culture, which values all staff. This includes:

  • an assessment of gender equality in the department, including quantitative (staff data) and qualitative (policies, practices, systems and arrangements) evidence, identifying both challenges and opportunities;
  • a four-year plan that builds on this assessment, information on activities that are already in place and what has been learned from these; and
  • the development of an organisational structure, including a self-assessment team, to carry the proposed action plan forward.

Our aims

Through these web pages we will provide information on the Department’s Application and Athena SWAN Action Plan. We will also include links to related articles, research and information and training provided by the University.


There are a number of Equality & Diversity training courses organised by the Learning and Development Centre at Warwick.

Contact us

If you have any suggestions with regard to what should be included in our action plan, things we could do to improve access for all or just general observations on the initiative please do let us know.

You can send your comments to Maryanne Heafey (m dot heafey at warwick dot ac dot uk).