The Athena SWAN Charter recognises the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

The Equality Challenge Unit’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.

The Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

The University of York was the first Yorkshire university to win the Athena Swan bronze award in recognition of its success in providing positive support for women scientists during their careers.

The Departments of Chemistry and Biology hold a gold award. Chemistry was the first academic department in the UK to win an award at this highest level.

The University currently holds thirteen separate awards from Athena SWAN:

More information on Athena SWAN

  • Athena SWAN charter 
    The charter recognises, celebrates and disseminates excellence in science, engineering and technology employment in higher education.
  • Current submissions 
    The University of York's Athena SWAN submissions and supporting documents.
  • Benefits 
    The Athena SWAN program helps to identify best practice for the working environment of all staff, not just for women, working science disciplines.