November updates from Athena SWAN

Posted in: University Athena SWAN

This blog article summarises key recent developments and updates from Athena SWAN and Advance HE.

  • Advance HE Chief Exec Alison Johns has written a personal update on how they are working to transform the Charter and support all colleagues in the sector. From November 2020 round, Athena Swan will put a great emphasis on panellists and Chairs, including new training, improved guidance, clarifications on marking criteria and other improvements to assessment process. By doing this, Athena SWAN hopes to provide extra assurance and confidence to members of the Charter about the fairness of outcomes and efficacy of the process.


  • New video series launched exploring Black male voices in HE. Advance HE is introducing a number of new  resources with a focus on structural race inequalities.


  • New guidance on how to support staff during menopause. Advance HE has published new guidance for Athena SWAN participants to provide information and advice to HE employers on how to break down the taboo surrounding menopause and support staff during this natural cycle of life. You can find the full report and guidance here.


  • Refreshed guidance on word count for an Athena SWAN application, including requests for additional words, guidance on screenshots, quotes, text on tables/graphs, SAT table and more.


  • Athena SWAN published a new FAQ page on their brand new Advance HE website. It includes advice on submitting, application process and guidance, support available from Advance HE and responses to other frequently asked questions.


  • Building back better for gender equality in higher education. Advance HE believes we now have the best opportunity to review how remote working in HE works. Their survey on remote working to better understand the experiences of all staff is now live. What are the barriers you face, how do you like to engage with colleagues and what measures might be effective in addressing them? Remote working will certainly remain in a post Covid-19 era but Advance HE argue that for women’s equality to progress we need to ensure that the remote working environment supports their day-to-day work and career progression. Find more info and the survey here.


  • Updated Athena SWAN Principles. Although they do not come into effect until 2021 when the Charter is fully updated and institutions have been asked to recommit, please find the newly released principles here.


  • Athena SWAN - why we do it at UCL. Professor Sara Mole reflects on 12 years of the University College London Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (MRC LMCB) engagement with Athena SWAN.


  • Women in HE 2021 conference on 25th February. Despite comprising the majority of staff working in UK higher education, women remain underrepresented at the most senior levels and the challenge to increase the pace of change remains. This virtual one-day conference will consider the key challenges in achieving step change across HE in relation to all gender equality issues through practical exploration of the known and hidden challenges across a range of intersectional themes relating to women in HE. Find out more and book tickets here.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact ED&I Officer Aiste on


Posted in: University Athena SWAN


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