Athena Swan

Athena Swan logo

Manchester’s Athena Swan Bronze Award, received in 2008 and renewed in 2011, 2014 and 2018, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

There are three levels of Athena Swan awards: 

  • Bronze – planning
  • Silver – doing
  • Gold – sustaining 

We are committed to demonstrating a real culture change within the University and our individual Schools and Departments. Our Schools and Departments holding Athena Swan awards include: 

The Athena Swan Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit, now called Advance HE, in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEMM employment in higher education and research.

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

Examples of good practice recognised by the Athena Swan Charter include: 

  • creating an effective workload model for staff that takes into consideration their diverse responsibilities; and
  • positive steps towards flexible working, career breaks and parental policy. 

In practice this may translate into actions such as: 

  • the active scheduling of meetings between the hours of 10am and 3pm;
  • addressing unconscious bias during interview selection procedures; and
  • mentoring of staff, from researchers to professors, to allow progression of careers and to ensure equal opportunities are available to all. 

Our commitment to the principles of the Athena Swan Charter, joined with the growing acknowledgement of the award by research councils, will ensure a diverse and vibrant working environment for staff and students.