Equality in Economics

Athena Swan

What is Athena SWAN?

The original Athena SWAN Charter encouraged and recognised commitment to advancing women's careers in higher education and research in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

In 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.

The beliefs underpinning the SWAN Charter are:

  • The advancement of STEMM and AHSSBL work is fundamental to quality of life across the globe.
  • The removal of the structural obstacles and discriminatory barriers is vital to eliminating the negative attitudes that the presence of gender inequality often subjects people to.
  • The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine.
  • Gender misrepresentation must be addressed for all areas, as nothing can reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

Why is Athena SWAN Important?

There is an unequal representation of gender in a wide variety of career areas.

Athena SWAN is NOT about positive discrimination in favour of women, it is about positive action in the form of good practice. The good practice that arises from implementation of the Athena SWAN ethos is of benefit to everyone in higher education and other areas.

  • Good practice is of benefit to all staff and students; bad practice adversely affects the careers of women more than men.
  • Good practice does not target initiatives solely at women, processes that are transparent and fair are of benefit to everyone.

How are Athena SWAN Principles Implemented?

The principles are essentially the adoption of good practice in the following areas:

  • Personal and professional support and development - covering career development, networks and mentoring.
  • Appointment and promotion processes – the identification and support of candidates.
  • Departmental arrangements, structures and culture - including workload, roles and responsibilities and departmental organisation and style. 

Our Commitment

We are committed to equal opportunities for all students and members of staff. For recognition of this commitment to equality we are in the process of making an application to Athena SWAN. We have assembled a team of staff from a range of levels and backgrounds, who are undertaking the Athena SWAN application to ensure that best employment practice and equal opportunities are in place for all staff and students within the department.

Members of staff who are working on the Athena Swan application are –

Athena SWAN Coordinator and Equalities Officer - Daniel Carter - dc256@le.ac.uk 0116 229 7371

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