Athena Swan

Recognising commitment to advancing women's careers in STEM academia

In February 2013 Staffordshire University joined Athena SWAN,  an initiative set up to advance and promote the careers of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in higher education and research.

The University has a long-standing commitment to equality, with well-developed policies and practices that support our staff and students. We also recognise and appreciate the core values of the six Athena SWAN Charter principles, which will enable us to achieve an appropriate gender balance in our STEM subjects, and further support for our current and future female academics.

The work around Athena SWAN is being championed by Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic, Rosy Crehan and Dean of Computing, Engineering and Sciences, Prof. Hastings McKenzie. The University has formed a Self-assessment Team, chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic, and we are currently working towards a University Bronze award.

If you would like to find out more about our involvement with Athena SWAN please contact Alison Hunt (a.n.hunt@staffs.ac.uk), Equality and Diversity Manager, or Dr. Sarah Fieldhouse (s.j.fieldhouse@staffs.ac.uk), our Athena SWAN contact and Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science.

Self Assessment Team

Athena SWAN Charter Principles

The following six principles form the cornerstone of the Athena SWAN Charter:

  •  To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation.

  • To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation.

  • The absence of diversity at management and policy-making leaves has broad implications which the organisation will examine

  • The high loss of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address.

  • The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises.

  • there are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which requires the active consideration of the organisation.

Equality and Diversity Objectives 2012-2016

As part of our current equality objectives we are examining our staff profile in terms of gender equality; including pay, promotion, representation and maternity returnees. It is envisaged that membership of Athena SWAN will support our objectives by helping to provide a structure for our analysis:

Supporting Organisations