The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter, adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
The ten principles of the Athena SWAN Charter
- We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
- We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
- We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including
- the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
- We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
- We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
- We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
- We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by transgender people.
- We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
- We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
- All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.
Athena SWAN has an international reputation for creating a gender inclusive workplace, with accredited institutions demonstrating a competitive edge in attracting the best scientists.
A recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report in the UK, Women in Scientific Careers, found that the Athena SWAN Charter is the most comprehensive and practical scheme to improve academics’ careers by addressing gender inequity. Another independent evaluation found that women scientists employed in organisations participating in the Athena SWAN Charter experienced greater career satisfaction and fairness in the workload allocation, and increased opportunities for training and development.