Medical School achieves Athena SWAN silver

Charter for Women in Science

In April 2016 the Medical School became the first department within the University to achieve an Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award. 

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme run by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), which recognises advancement of gender equality in terms of representation, progression and success for all.

The Charter, which was established in 2005, initially focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) academia only, and in April 2014 the Swansea University Medical School achieved a Bronze Award in recognition of good practice and in 2016 achieved Silver Award. Athena Swan was expanded in April 2015 to all subject areas, for all staff (in academic and professional services roles) and for trans staff and students. 

There are ten Athena SWAN principles:

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. 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.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:
  4. the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
  5. the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)
  6. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  7. 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.
  8. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  9. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

Prof. Diane Kelly is the Chair of the School Self-Assessment team, which includes working groups in Data, Career Progression, Communications and Culture and Clinical Academics. The team is now implementing the Silver action plan.

For more information about Athena SWAN in the School and how to get involved please contact:

Self-Assessment Team

Diane Kelly (Chair).

Career Progression Working Group:  Mike Gravenor (Lead), Cathy Thornton, John Cox, Anjana Choudhuri, Zdravka Kamenova, Geertje Keulen

Clinical Academic Working group: Angharad Davies (Lead), Farah Bhatti, Heidi Phillips, Dean Harris, Ann John, Keith Lloyd, Emily Simon Thomas (Student rep.)

Communications and Culture Working Group: Anna Seager and Wendy Francis (Leads), James Cronin, Claire Morgan, Nia Morse, Martyn Durston, Emma Turner, Stephanie Burnell (Student rep.),

Data Working Group: Sian Owens (Lead), Sian Roberts, Owen Bodger, Ruth Jones, Laura Healy, Georgina Menzies.