What is Athena SWAN?
The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research.
Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used across the globe to address advancement of gender equality more broadly, encompassing representation, progression, and success for all.
Athena SWAN in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering has held an Athena Swan Silver Award since 2010. During this period, the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter have become deeply embedded within the culture of the School. Examples of our commitment include:
- The introduction of a School-wide policy which faciliatates the relief of teaching/administrative duties for academics returning from maternity/extended paternity/adoption leave, or extended sick leave, for a period of six months on return to work
- The attainment of a 50/50 gender balance of academic presenters within the School's Research Seminar Series
- The introduction of School Teaching Fellowships, which involve the extension of Postdoctoral Research Academic (PDRA) contracts by 1 month to allow PDRAs to acquire teaching experience without negative impact in their research. This scheme is open to both male and female PDRAs, but the School's Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team ensures that there is adequate pro-rata representation of female applicants (e.g., women are proactively encouraged to apply via the provision of a positive statement within post details and advertisement)
- The School strongly believes in the “If you can see it, you can be it” philosophy and ensures female students and staff are part of all outreach activities to provide positive female STEMM role models.