The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the charter is now used to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.
The Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in academic roles in STEMM and arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), professional and support staff, and trans staff and students, in relation to their representation, progression of students into academia, journey through career milestones, and the working environment for all staff.
The University of Warwick currently holds an Institutional Silver Award.
Below you will find information on:
If you'd like to learn more about the University's work in this area and can't find what you need here, contact us and let us know.
The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
- We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
- 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.
- 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).
- We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
- 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.
- We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
- We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.
- 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.
- 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.
- All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.
The Athena SWAN SAT's role is to take oversight of University-wide activities to ensure that Warwick does not disadvantage women within its talent pool, thus attracting and retaining the best staff and creating a working environment that enhances academic performance and general well-being. The Group reports to Senate via the Social Inclusion Committee (formerly Equality and diversity Committee) and directly to Steering.
The Athena SWAN SAT is Chaired by Kate Seers (Director Warwick Research in Nursing, WMS) and Professor Georgia Kremmyda (Engineering). The membership is as follows:
- Registrar: Rachel Sandby-Thomas.
- Representatives from each Faculty:
- Faculty of Arts: Penny Roberts (History), Kirsten Harris (Cross-Faculty Studies), Julie Wright (Film & TV Studies), Damien Homer, History.
- Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine: Ranko Lazic (Computer Science), David Leadley (Physics), Caroline Meyer (WMG), Kirstie Haywood (WMS)
- Faculty of Social Sciences: Matthew Nudds (Philosophy).
- Director of HR: Geraldine Mills.
- Director of Organisational Development: Trudie Donnelly.
- Chair of Gender Task Force: Dr Jo Collingwood.
- ED&I Manager: Sandra Beaufoy.
- ED&I Officer: Claire Algar.
- Representative from PSS staff Grade 6-9 – Jackie Clarke, Director of Administration Faculty of Social Sciences.
- Representative from PSS staff Grade 1a-5 – Michaela Hodges, ED&I Coordinator (Secretary).
- PhD student representative – Alice Churm, Warwick Students Union Postgraduate Officer.
- Undergraduate representative – Chloe Batten, Warwick Students’ Union Education Officer.
The University's Social Inclusion Strategy includes an aim to have all departments hold an Athena SWAN award. You can find a list of all departments currently holding an award here.
Applying for a departmental Athena SWAN award for the first time can be daunting, which is why we have created the Framework for Application guidance and Rapid Action Plan . You can also find a range of resources on the Advance HE website, include the Athena SWAN Charter Handbook, which provides detailed information on submitting applications to the Charter.
When you do make your submission, please ensure you follow the GDPR compliant submission process.
Staff from across all departments meet regularly to discuss progress towards meeting our University-wide Athena SWAN action points and prepare individual departmental applications.
The departmental representatives act as a communication channel between academic departments and the Network; they also convene local departmental discussions.
The Network is an opportunity for departments to hear up-dates on current initiatives and progress on Athena SWAN, as well as scrutinise other departments’ submissions and encourage and support them with their Athena SWAN work.
If you'd like to learn more about the Athena SWAN Network and can't find what you need here, contact us and let us know.
Each year, we produce an Annual Report on Warwick’s Athena work, which details the significant progress made on Athena initiatives at institutional and departmental level.
You may also be interested in:
Conference Support Awards (funding awards to cover the costs of childcare or caring for those attending conferences)
Taskforces and SIC - including Gender Task Force
You can find more information about gender equality in HE from the following sources:
Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) - data site useful for benchmarking