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Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter is a national scheme, that was established to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET).

The charter abides by the following principles:

  • 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 levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine
  • The high loss rate 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 require the active consideration of the organisation

Brunel University was successful in demonstrating commitment to these six principles, as well as developing an action plan to address these areas. To this end, Brunel was awarded the Athena Swan Bronze award in April 2012. See a copy of our application.

The Charter is managed by ECU. It is funded by ECU, the Royal Society, the Biochemical Society and the Department of Health.