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Athena SWAN in Sociology

The Department received a Silver Athena SWAN Award in 2023. Our departmental submission for this award can be viewed here.

Engaging Sociologically with Athena SWAN

In February 2017, the Department of Sociology and the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender organised an event looking at the challenges and opportunities afforded by Athena SWAN.

The findings from the event are collated in a report entitled Certifying Equality? Critical reflections on Athena SWAN and equality accreditation written by Dr. Ruth Pearce. This report discusses the

  • background to Athena SWAN,
  • Athena SWAN as a catalyst for change,
  • the contradictions of equality accreditation,
  • and proposals for change to Athena SWAN.

On this page you can find materials from the event, including the slides used by some of the presenters.


Athena SWAN at Warwick

As an institution, the University of Warwick currently holds a Silver Award. Information on Athena SWAN at Warwick can be found hereLink opens in a new window.

What is Athena SWAN?

ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.


Sociology team accepting the bronze award
From L-R: Dr Maria do Mar Pereira, Professor Nickie Charles, and Dr Ruth Pearce accepting the bronze Athena SWAN award in 2017 on behalf of the University of Warwick's Sociology Department.

Within universities and departments change is happening: organisational structures and practices are being improved, there is greater awareness around culture and gender equality and the importance of good communication is being highlighted.

Professor Dame Julia Higgins, Athena SWAN Charter Patron