Reasons to apply for Athena SWAN

Getting the best from our staff

The Athena SWAN Charter demonstrates commitment to gender equality and excellent working practices. Inclusive employers are able to recruit from the widest possible pool while well-supported staff are more likely to choose stay with UWE Bristol, regardless of their gender. We hope Athena SWAN will bring about a long term culture change that will benefit all staff.

Athena SWAN’s report, 'Measuring Success' outlines positive changes made and challenges faced by five longstanding members of the Athena SWAN Charter. Athena SWAN Charter Patron, Professor Dame Julia Higgins gives the following quote in the foreword:

“The findings of this research study clearly evidence the impact Athena SWAN has had, and continues to have, both at an institutional level and for individuals. Within universities and departments change is happening; organisational structures and practices are being improved, there is greater awareness around culture and gender equality and the importance of good communication is being highlighted. For individuals, Athena SWAN has been valuable in encouraging aspiration, identifying and exemplifying role models and illustrating potential academic career pathways and opportunities.”

Research funding

Research councils are increasingly recognising the value of equality and diversity in higher education. Some are taking proactive steps to ensure that funding recipients embed these principles and that grant winners apply equality and diversity principles in all aspects of research practice.

National Institute for Health Research

In 2011, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) stated that: 
"For future competitions to designate and fund NIHR Biomedical Research Units, Biomedical Research Centres, and Patient Safety Translational Research Centres, it does not expect to short-list any NHS/University partnership where the academic partner (often the Medical School/Faculty of Medicine) has not achieved at least the Silver Award of the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science."

Research Councils UK

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership of seven UK research councils: AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC.   RCUK launched their ‘Statement of Expectations for Equality and Diversity’ in January 2013.

RCUK does not require any formal accreditation for funding but does want to see evidence of action to address equality and diversity at a departmental level. RCUK recommends that Athena SWAN might form part of this evidence.

See the RCUK press release for further information.

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