Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN

ECU's Athena SWAN charterRecognising commitment to the advancement of gender equality in academia, addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines, professional and support functions and removing the obstacles faced by women

The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in 2005 by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) to encourage and recognise commitment to combating the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM), and advancing the careers of women in STEMM research and academia.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. The Charter now recognises work supporting and embedding equality in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. 

Athena SWAN grants Bronze (planning), Silver (doing), Gold (sustaining) awards to institutions and departments who can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice and commitment to the Charter by embedding the Athena SWAN principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.

The University of Aberdeen has been a proud member of the Athena SWAN Charter since 2011, and is committed to its principles. In 2012, the University was awarded, and still currently holds, the prestigious Athena SWAN Bronze award. This award recognises our ongoing commitment to the advancement and promotion of careers and personal development of women in STEMM. 

The University is proud to have all departments committed to supporting gender equality - every department has Bronze Athena SWAN award status. 

If you are a member of staff interested in finding out more about Athena SWAN please visit here.

Memberships and awards

The University of Aberdeen and all Schools hold Athena SWAN Bronze Awards. Successful submissions can be viewed online.


The University of Aberdeen has embedded the Principles of Athena SWAN to create a diverse and empowered community, an inclusive culture, and an improved work and study environment.

International Women's Day conference

The University hosts an annual conference celebrating International Women’s Day, taking an in-depth look at issues which are central to career development for female colleagues around the globe.

'Inspiring Women' exhibition

The 'Inspiring Women' exhibition tours around internal and external venues showcasing the incredible achievements and career paths of female University of Aberdeen graduates and staff.