Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.
AdvanceHE'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) in higher education and research.
In 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.
In 2021 Advance HE published a transformed UK Athena Swan Charter, a newly enhanced framework developed in full consultation with sector practitioners, EDI Champions and specialist sub-groups overseen by the Athena Swan Governance Committee and transformed based on the recommendations made in the Independent Review led by the Athena Swan Steering Group.
The updated Charter Principles have been revised to:
- empower participants to join a global community through a shared commitment to tackle gender inequality and shared principles that align with local gender equality goals;
- support greater inclusivity for people of all gender identities and people facing intersectional inequalities;
- ensure that participating institutions, departments and directorates recognise and reward staff working on gender equality.
In determining our priorities and interventions, we commit to:
- adopting robust, transparent and accountable processes for gender equality work, including:
- embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/institute/department/directorate accountable.
- undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes to direct our priorities and interventions for gender equality, and evaluating our progress to inform our continuous development.
- ensuring that gender equality work is distributed appropriately, is recognised and properly rewarded.
- addressing structural inequalities and social injustices that manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students.
- tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments, including not tolerating gender-based violence, discrimination, bullying, harassment or exploitation.
- understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities.
- recognising that individuals can determine their own gender identity, and tackling the specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people.
- examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice and career opportunities of any identified under-valued and at-risk groups.
- mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks, and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’.
- mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.
Athena Swan Principles
- Transformed UK Athena Swan Charter: Information pack for departments