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Give your feedback and help shape the Athena SWAN Charter for Gender Equality

23 Aug 2019

Advance HE, the national body behind Athena SWAN, is currently undertaking a review of the charter and associated awards process with a view to implement changes

Athena Swan

As part of this they are keen to hear the views of people across the higher education and research sector irrespective of their role. Even if you have not been part of an Athena SWAN self-assessment team at the University, your views are welcomed.

In recent years the Athena SWAN Charter has expanded beyond solely focussing on the progression of women students and academics in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM). Since 2015, the charter principles now recognise work to support gender equality more broadly (and explicitly inclusive of trans staff and students), for students, academics and PS staff beyond the STEMM disciplines. Advance HE recognises work undertaken by Higher Education and Research Institutes (and Departments within) through their Awards scheme – offering Bronze, Silver or Gold status signifying the level of positive impact achieved through gender equality work.  The process by which applications are made to apply for, or retain, an award is demanding. Concerns have been raised that the application process places an extra administrative burden on staff, particularly women who are disproportionately involved in this work.

Following an initial consultation with members of the sector, a number of potential solutions were proposed. As part of the review, Advance HE are keen to hear your views on these solution-based concepts which are designed to address the key issues. The survey can be accessed until 12 September.

The survey is confidential, raw data will only be shared with the Steering Group and its advisors. If you require the survey in an alternative format, or you have any questions about how your information will be used, please contact the Steering Group at

To find out more about Athena SWAN work at the University, please visit or contact the University’s Charter Marks’ Coordinator, Sarah Mohammad-Qureshi.

Gender equality work benefits everybody, through work carried out under the Athena SWAN Charter, we are able to identify where issues exist and make improvements to policies, processes and support structures. We would encourage everyone to use this opportunity to ensure the charter works for them and is well suited for its purpose. Please also encourage your colleagues to take part in the survey.

Dr Rachel Cowen, Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Gender)

Dr Sarah Mohammad-Qureshi, Charter Marks’ Coordinator/Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor