A student at the Lancaster Environment Centre

Athena SWAN

We are committed to tackling all barriers and challenges to equal and fair participation in higher education and research. 

We strive to recruit and retain the most qualified students and staff, foster inclusive and caring working practices (e.g. with a view on work-life balance, child or parental care), and enable individuals to reach their full potential by providing plentiful opportunities for personal and professional development.

Athena SWAN was established by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 to advance the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. In 2015 the Athena SWAN charter was expanded to include other disciplines, professional and support roles and transgender staff and students. Athena Swan aims to encourage universities and colleges to do this through:

  • representation 
  • progression of students into academia 
  • journey through career milestones 
  • a working environment for all staff 

Lancaster University has held a Bronze Award since 2008, which was renewed in 2012. In 2013, the Lancaster Environment Centre was awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze award as a department, in recognition of its commitment to Athena SWAN's charter principles, which was renewed in 2018.

We support all our staff to fulfil their potential in a variety of ways including peer support, mentoring and workshops for staff (or research students) aspiring to become fellows, lecturers or senior lecturers.

We provide bespoke, in-house mentoring schemes to support women to progress to the next stage of their academic careers and ultimately to senior roles, guided by our belief that what benefits women, benefits everyone. We also support and encourage applications from transgender staff and students.