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The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET). The Charter was officially launched in June 2005 with the support of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) and the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET (UKRC).

The School of Psychology is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity and to creating and sustaining an environment that values and celebrates the diversity of its staff and student body. In particular, the school is committed to supporting the career progression of women in science, engineering and technology in line with the beliefs of the Athena SWAN Charter which are:

  • The advancement of science, engineering and technology (SET) is fundamental to quality of life across the globe.
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area.
  • Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

Gold Award

The School of Psychology at Queen’s has retained the prestigious Athena SWAN Gold Award for its outstanding progress in promoting gender equality and addressing the unequal representation of women in science. The school was first awarded Gold in May 2014 to become the first School of Psychology in the UK to achieve this national recognition.

The Athena SWAN Charter was introduced in 2005 to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology and to address gender inequalities and improve career progression for female academics. The Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women.

The School of Psychology works hard to ensure that it provides an inclusive and supportive environment for all staff and students. Many School staff have family or caring responsibilities and the School has implemented policies which support their flexible needs.  The School recognises and respects the diversity of its staff and students whether in relation to their ethnicity, cultural background or sexual orientation. Receiving an Athena Gold departmental award confirms our commitment in promoting gender equality and makes Queen’s a recognised leader in equal opportunities.

Professor Teresa McCormack, SWAN Champion for the School of Psychology, said: “This award confirms Queen’s as a national leader in Higher Education for supporting women in science. The University’s capacity to attract and retain excellent scientists – women and men – helps Northern Ireland to create an internationally competitive research base. Queen’s is firmly committed to ensuring that women scientists can have fulfilling careers in their chosen fields, and this latest award is recognition of the University’s work in promoting gender diversity in scientific leadership.”


Find out more about Athena Swan Charter on the Equality Challenge Unit's website

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