Who we are

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU)’s Athena SWAN award is a national charter mark that recognises the advancement of gender equality in higher education, encompassing representation, progression and success for all.

Athena SWAN was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employed in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, rather than just barriers to progression that affect women.

The charter covers women (and men where appropriate).

It relates to:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support roles
  • trans staff and students

In relation to:

  • representation
  • the progression of students into academia
  • the journey through career milestones
  • the working environment for all staff.