Athena Swan

The Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Charter was established in 2005 to support and promote the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). In 2015, this was expanded to recognise work within professional, technical and operational (PTO) roles and in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), not only for women but also for trans staff and students, addressing gender equality more broadly.

The charter focus is around equal representation, progression of students into academia, individual journeys through career milestones and the working environment for staff, within universities and research institutes.

Research institutes are able to apply for Athena SWAN awards; either bronze, silver or gold, depending on the initiatives and processes in place at their organisation. The University of Lincoln is currently a bronze award holder, which is something we strive to keep, and then progress in due course.

Over the past 15 years, Athena SWAN has reported an increase in the number of women in senior leadership roles, which is brilliant progress. Nevertheless, there is still a marked difference between genders in the outcomes in academic and PTO settings, highlighting the need for further work.