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  3. Athena SWAN in the Law School
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Athena SWAN in the Law School

The City Law School 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 including in Law Schools
  • Submissions are made twice a year in November and April, and awards are given for 3 years.


Bronze department awards recognise that in addition to institution-wide policies, the department 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:

    Athena STEM
    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. Commitment 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 Law doing?

    Representatives from all programmes 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 at the School of Law

    Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments about the Athena SWAN process, or if you have any thoughts as to how to increase the number of women in senior roles within the School.

    You can submit any comments to us anonymously by completing our online form . You can also contact us via email.