Athena SWAN has been in operation in the UK since 2005 - a convergence
of two projects. It is run by the Equality Challenge Unit and has been implemented all
over the UK. In Ireland, it is supported by the Higher Education Authority.
The charter has evolved since its inception which focused on women's representation in
STEMM subject areas in academic settings to gender equality across a broad range of
educational fields in higher education. It encourages, recognises and promotes gender
equality in academic settings. It recognises & encourages good practice initiatives.
It is a charter HEI's can join, be guided by, and use as a resource.
HEI's receive an award of Bronze, Silver or Gold. Depts/Schools within universities can
also apply for their own award.
HEI's can use their award and affiliation for promotion and development of policy and
practice. For example, UCD has incorporated Athena SWAN as an aspect of the
overarching EDI goals and achievements. The Athena SWAN Steering Group is a
subgroup of the EDI Group and University Management Team.