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  1. Arts and Social Sciences
  2. Athena SWAN
About City

Athena SWAN in the School of Arts and Social Sciences

The School of Arts and Social Sciences is committed to gender equality and is working towards accreditation by Athena SWAN. The Athena SWAN charter aims to support and encourage universities to work towards gender equality.

What is Athena SWAN?

  • Athena SWAN (Scientific Women Academic Network) is a prestigious award given to institutes in recognition of the results and commitments to advancing women in STEMM fields. From April 2015, it has been opened up to departments in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law
  • The Athena SWAN Charter was developed in conjunction with the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) to advance the representation of women in higher education and research
  • The Charter was launched in June 2005. Awards range from bronze to gold. An institute is required to attain a bronze medal before individual departments can obtain an award
  • It recognises and celebrates good employment practice in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in Schools are Arts and Social Sciences
  • Submission are made twice a year in November and April, and awards are given for 3 years.


Bronze department or School awards recognise that in addition to institution-wide policies, the department or School has reflected on its current culture, practices and processes and produced a four-year Action Plan to deliver improvements.

This includes:

  • Assessment of gender equality for the department
  • 4 year plan
  • The development of the organisational structure.

Charter Principles

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles:

  1. Acknowledgement that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all
  2. Commitment to advancing gender equality in academia
  3. Commitment to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions
  4. Commitment to tackling the gender pay gap
  5. Commitment to removing the obstacles faced by women at major points of career development and progression
  6. Commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia
  7. Commitment to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people
  8. Acknowledgement that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles
  9. Commitment to making sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality
  10. Commitment to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

What is the School of Arts and Social Sciences doing?

Representatives from all the departments and professional services in the School are working on putting together an application for Athena SWAN Bronze award, due to be submitted in November 2019.

Working with the Charter is helping City to identify and follow best practice. The main areas in which good practice can make a difference are:

  • Appointment and selection
  • Promotions
  • Career Development
  • Career Development for Early Career Researchers
  • Workplace Flexibility
  • Career Breaks
  • Organisation and culture.

Our Athena SWAN Team in the School of Arts and Social Sciences

Athena SWAN news at City

  • Each year in the week leading up to International Women's Day the University will put on a series of activities that promote the Athena SWAN principles. Follow the links to International Women’s Day at City to find out more about our exciting upcoming events and ways we celebrate the achievements of women past, present and future.
  • The University's Athena SWAN Action Plan is part of forming the overall Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda.
  • The School of Health Sciences hold the Bronze Athena SWAN award since May 2018.