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The Athena Swan Charter is a higher education programme for the advancement of gender equality. We have been members of the Athena Swan Charter since 2008, achieving awards at university, faculty and departmental level.
What is the Athena Swan Charter?
Advance HE's Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise the commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.
In May 2015, the Charter was expanded and to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression affecting women.
- Academic roles in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM)
- Academic roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
- Professional and support staff
- Trans staff and students
In relation to their:
- Progression of students into academia
- Journey through career milestones
- Working environment for all staff
In 2021, following the recommendations made in the Independent review, led by the Athena Swan Steering Group, Advance HE published the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter framework. This framework was developed in consultation with the sector practitioners and specialist sub-groups overseen by the Athena Swan Governance committee.
The transformed UK Athena Swan Charter has enhanced systems and processes to ensure it is fit for the future of the higher education sector.
To find out more about the transformed Uk Athena Swan Charter you can download an information pack from Advance HE.
Awards at Lancaster
As well as our Institutional Athena Swan Bronze award, Lancaster is very proud to have achieved Athena Swan awards in all our Departments or Faculties, recognising our commitment to advancing gender equality within higher education and research.
Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award
Lancaster University has held an institutional level Bronze award since 2008, with renewals in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
Supporting our most recent award is a comprehensive action plan: LU Athena SWAN Bronze Action Plan.
The action plan is organised into six Work Packages, each championed by a senior leader, with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor championing two areas:
- EDI Culture: Professor Andy Schofield, Vice-Chancellor
- Gender Pay Gap and Academic Career Pipeline and Transition Points: Professor Steve Bradley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
- Academic Fixed-Term and Casual Staff: Professor Louise Heathwaite CBE FRSE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
- Maternity, Family Leave, Caring responsibilities, Childcare Provision and Flexible Working: Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement)
- Professional Services Career Progression: Nicola Owen, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations)
To deliver this ambitious action plan, a new Athena Swan team was appointed in 2020. The Athena Swan Implementation Group (ASIG) was also established to provide oversight, support and challenge for the implementation of the plan. ASIG Terms of Reference and Membership List
Athena Swan Departmental/Faculty Bronze Awards
The following departments/faculty currently hold Bronze awards:
Science and Technology:
- Chemistry (awarded 2015, renewed 2022)
- Computing and Communications (awarded 2017, renewed 2022)
- Engineering (awarded 2017)
- Lancaster Environment Centre (awarded 2017)
- Mathematics and Statistics (awarded 2016, renewed 2022)
- Psychology (awarded 2013, renewed 2017)
Arts and Social Sciences:
- Educational Research (awarded 2021)
- English Literature and Creative Writing (awarded 2019)
- History (awarded 2021)
- Institute for the Contemporary Arts (awarded 2018)
- Languages and Cultures (awarded 2019)
- Lancaster Law School (awarded 2021)
- Linguistics and English Language (awarded 2021)
- Politics, Philosophy and Religion (awarded 2019)
- Sociology (awarded 2019)
Lancaster University Management School (awarded 2021)
Athena Swan Silver Awards
The following department and faculty currently hold Silver awards:
- Faculty of Science and Technology: Physics (awarded 2012, renewed 2016 and 2022)
- Faculty of Health and Medicine (awarded Bronze 2012, awarded Silver 2014 and renewed 2018) Including Biomedical and Life Sciences, Health Research and Lancaster Medical School
The following dashboards have been created to support Lancaster University departmental/Faculty Athena Swan Leads to access the data they require for their Athena Swan applications:
1. Athena Swan Student Dashboard
Athena Swan Staff Dashboards:
6. Family Leave Data Dashboard