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The Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises excellence in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) employment in higher education.

The beliefs underpinning the Charter 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.

Any university or research institution which is committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in SET in higher education and research can apply for membership.

What is Athena SWAN?

Athena SWAN Greek art woman

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research.

The Athena SWAN Award

Female Student using laboratory equipment with lots of tubes

The Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is demonstrating its commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research by working toward an Athena SWAN accreditation.

To achieve this award, the School is:

  • developing an understanding of its current policies, practices and culture
  • aiming to provide positive support for women at key points in their careers
  • improving culture and gender balance in its decision-making
  • improving practices that support work-life balance for all staff

Men too!

Athena SWAN Greek art man

Our Athena SWAN policies have a positive side effect for male staff too; for example, male staff with young families may benefit from flexible working hours.

Athena SWAN Standard logo

Why apply for an Athena SWAN accreditation in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences?


Achieving an accreditation would show that:

  • the School takes care to attract, retain and recognise talent
  • the School supports women, especially at key career transition points
  • the School promotes and enables its academic and research staff to achieve a work-life balance
  • the School actively works to achieve equality and to engage women in leadership and decision-making
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