The Athena SWAN Charter: Promoting Commitment to Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions in the UK

  • Sarah BarnardEmail author


The chapter provides an overview of the Athena Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) Charter, how it has been adopted across a selection of different institutions in the UK, the impact it has had so far, with a reflection on what it means in practice for an institution aiming to address gender equality. It draws on an analysis of Gold Award Departments and a case study university to explore what is required to engage with the Charter and what is considered good practice. The chapter offers an insight into a very influential scheme to address gender equality in higher education institutions in the UK that has relevance to policy makers with an interest in promoting commitment to gender equality.



The author would like to thank the interviewees at the Case Study University and members of the Equality Challenge Unit for providing information on Athena SWAN awards.The author gratefully acknowledges the support of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013 under grant agreement no 321491.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and EconomicsLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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