Presently I sit on the University Athena SWAN self-assessment-team (aka, committee), I am also the chair and founder of the Department of Physics Athena SWAN self-assessment-team in our bid for a Bronze Departmental award.
What is the Athena SWAN ?
Founded in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme that recognises excellence in science, engineering and technology (SET) employment for women in higher education. It operates through providing an annual round of awards, workshops, guidance and opportunities to share effective practice on the website.
The Charter is co-owned by ECU and the UKRC, and additionally funded by the Royal Society, HEFCE, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Scottish Funding Council, and the Biochemical Society.
Any university or research institute that is committed to the advancement of the careers of women in SET can become
a member of the Charter, accepting and promoting the six Charter principles.
• Addressing gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation.
• A change in cultures and attitudes across the organisation is required to tackle the unequal representation of women in science.
• The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications, which the organisation will examine.
• The high rate of loss 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.