What is Athena SWAN?
The SWAN Charter was originally supported by the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET (UKRC) and with funding from the European Social Fund under the Equal initiative at its launch in 2005. It now also receives support from the Equality Challenge Unit.
Charter members are asked to accept 6 principles into action plans for development of their own working practices:
1. To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation
2. To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation
3. The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine
4. The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address
5. The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises
6. There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation. Queen's University Belfast was awarded a Silver Athena SWAN award in 2007. Further details of these awards can be found here