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Athena SWAN Award

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The School of Mathematics is proud to have renewed their Athena SWAN Bronze Award in November 2016 - our application can be found here.

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise good employment practice for women working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research. In 2015, the charter was extended to the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law (AHSSBL). Crucially, it was broadended to cover staff in professional support roles in addition to academic staff, and to promote the advancement of gender equality for both women and men.

The problem of gender balance is being actively addressed by many organisations which include the Newton Institute, ICMS, the London Mathematical Society, the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Why is positive action necessary?
Here is a quote from
by the European Equality and Human Rights Commission (July 2009):

"Many employers recognise the value of a diverse workforce that reflects the community it serves.  Employing a diverse range of people allows an organisation to draw on the full range of talent in the community; to possess a wider understanding of its customer base; to make more effective decisions and avoid groupthink; and to cultivate its reputation as a good employer.

Positive action is a tool available to help achieve greater diversity, allowing employers to target training and encouragement at under-represented groups."


Athena SWAN is jointly owned by ECU and the UKRC. It is funded by ECU, the Royal Society, the Biochemical Society, and the Department of Health. More information is available on the Athena SWAN website, as well as under Athena SWAN Award application information. 


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