The Equality Challenge Unit established the Athena SWAN Charter in 2005 to encourage and recognize commitment to advancing the careers of women in higher education and research. Initially the charter concentrated on STEMM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) but since May 2015 the charter was expanded to cover arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.
The expanded charter now seeks to address gender equality in a broad sense, rather than simply barriers that affect women, and the Charter has included trans staff and students since 2015. The Charter also now covers staff in professional and support roles.
Athena SWAN operates an awards scheme, which celebrates good practice at institutional and departmental level, recognising commitment to gender equality in recruiting, retaining and promoting staff. The University of Huddersfield was granted an institutional bronze Athena SWAN award in October 2015.
Members of the School Athena SWAN self-assessment panel
|Prof Angela Lee||
Director of Research and Graduate Studies
Chair, Athena SWAN Panel
|Prof Patricia Tzortzopoulos||
Head of Architecture
|Ms Sharon Baines||
Senior Research Administrator
|Prof Song Wu||Professor of IT and Surveying|
|Dr Carl Meddings||Prinicipal Lecturer in Architecture|
|Dr Yun Gao||Senior Lecturer in Architecture|
Application for an Athena SWAN Award encourages an institution or department to analyse its own gender imbalances, and form an action plan to aid the recruitment, retention and promotion of female academics. Gender imbalances within the student body are also analysed. The process of reviewing and establishing good working practices around recruitment, induction, staff development, training and flexible working as part of an Athena SWAN submission benefits the whole workforce.