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Law and IER Athena Swan Announcement

June 2019


Congratulations to the School of Law and Warwick Institute for Employment Research.

The School of Law and Institute for Employment Research (IER) have been successful in achieving a Bronze Athena Swan award in the November 2018 submission round. This is further excellent progress for our Faculty of Social Sciences.

Professor Vanessa Munro (School of Law), who was Head of School at the time of submission and part of the drafting team, told us

“We are delighted to have secured this award, which is a reflection both of the hard work of the drafting team and of the broader commitment across the school to inclusivity and equality.”

Professor Clare Lyonette (IER), said

"We are proud that Advance HE has recognised us in this round of awards and we are now looking forward to fully implementing our Action Plan. We have a dedicated team of staff who will be working together to make sure that the impetus is maintained over the coming months and years."


What is Athena Swan?

The Athena Swan Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (Swan) to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). The Charter was officially launched in 2005, with the first awards conferred in 2006.

In 2015, the scope of the Athena Swan Charter was expanded to cover gender equality in arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law (AHSSBL), and to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The Charter is based on ten key principles:

  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.
  3. 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).
  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.


Warwick’s Engagement With Athena Swan

By being part of Athena Swan, Warwick is committing to a progressive charter; adopting the principles within our policies, practices, action plans and culture.

We achieved our first award in 2009 – the Department of Physics achieved a Silver award, followed by a Bronze institutional award.

Many of our participating departments have found the process extremely useful to critically analyse their staff and student data, and the processes and procedures they use to advance gender equality.

You can read more about Athena Swan here.

You may also be interested in:

Charters - including Athena Swan (gender equality Charter)

Data and Reports

Gender Initiatives

ED&I Network