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Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice towards the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit 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 include non-STEMM Schools, professional and support staff, technical staff, and trans staff and students. The charter now also recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

There are three levels of awards:

  • Bronze (planning)
  • Silver (doing)
  • Gold (sustaining)

All the awards work towards equality of opportunity and are committed to evidencing a real culture changes within the University and its individual Schools. The University has been a member of the Charter since 2008 and currently holds a Bronze Award.

Prior to the restructure that created the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health in August 2016, the Faculty of Life Sciences and all of the Schools and Institutes at the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences held an Athena SWAN award.

These include Silver awards for the Faculty of Life Sciences, Manchester Medical School, Manchester Pharmacy School and the School of Psychological Sciences, as well as Bronze awards for the Schools of Dentistry, and Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work.

The new Faculty continues to work towards meeting the Athena SWAN Charter.

Contact us

To find out more about our Athena SWAN activities, please contact Helen Ryder, Athena SWAN Coordinator at The University of Manchester by emailing