Athena Swan

The Athena Swan Charter

Athena Swan Bronze Award

‌The Athena Swan Charter recognises advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

The University joined the Charter in November 2014 and made a successful submission for institutional Bronze in November 2015.

In 2018, the University as a whole was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award for the second time. The School of Applied Sciences also celebrated its own departmental Bronze Award, marking a significant milestone for Abertay.

In 2024, we successfully renewed our Bronze Award, demonstrating the University's continued commitment to advancing gender equality. Our progress over the past five years has been marked by several initiatives, including the establishment of a staff engagement culture, the Lead Voices Forum, and the University and local Staff Wellbeing, Engagement and Empowerment Teams (SWEETs). These efforts have contributed to a positive and inclusive work environment, solidifying Abertay's reputation as a champion of gender equality.

The process is an ongoing journey for Abertay in which the gaining of the Bronze Award is evidence that the University recognises its achievements in respect of gender equality across the academic community, understands the scale of deficiencies and has articulated a credible plan for sustainable future action aimed at building on strengths and addressing weaknesses.

Achieving the Bronze Award is the first step along a journey with Silver and Gold Awards future aspirations, but a far more valuable reward for the University is the culture change that is an integral part of making progress in respect of the Charter.

The Bronze Award and Action Plan is available below:

Our commitment to Athena Swan Principles

Athena Swan Action Plan 2024-2029

A brief history of the Athena Swan Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 and recognised commitment to advancing the careers of female academics in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM). The Charter was underpinned by the belief that the advancement of science was fundamental to the quality of life across the globe and that it is only by utilising the talents of both men and women that its full potential can be realised.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students.

The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The Transformed Athena Swan Charter

The UK Athena Swan Charter was updated with the sector in 2021 to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the higher education and research sectors. The revised UK Athena Swan Charter – or the ‘transformed Charter’ - has been developed in consultation with sector practitioners; equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) champions; and the charter’s governance committee. The changes are based on the recommendations of an independent review led by the Athena Swan Steering Group.

The transformed Charter builds on the strengths of the existing framework to create a Charter that is more flexible, transparent and supportive.

Benefits of the transformed Charter include:

• greater focus on autonomy and flexibility
• reduced administrative burden for applicants
• developmental and supportive approach.

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