Equality and Diversity

Athena SWAN

Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

Edinburgh is one of 160 universities and research institutes which are members of the SWAN Charter. There are 766 award holding universities and departments

The Charter was developed in 2005 and open to any university or research institute which is committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in science, engineering and technology mathematics and medicine (STEMM) ) 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.

Membership of the Charter can help HEIs fulfil their gender duty commitments, work towards sustaining equitable working environments and enable them to identify themselves as employers of choice, not only to their staff, but to students, funders, research councils and industry.

University of Edinburgh Awards

Edinburgh won its first University Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award in 2006 and successfully renewed in 2009 and again in 2012, and successfully achieved Silver in 2015, the first in Scotland.  In 2018, we once again successfully renewed our Insitutional Silver.

AS Institutional Silver Award 2018
Athena Swan Institutional Silver Awards Ceremony 2018


The Roslin Institute successfully achieved Gold in April 2017. 

These awards recognise achievements in having action plans in place which demonstrate progress made on gender equality, and include actions on how they intend to continue to progress.



Our Awards

The attached chart shows the University of Edinburgh awards by area and level:

Our Submissions

Roslin Institute Gold (2017) - (submission to follow)

Moray House School of Education - (Bronze 2018)  (submission to follow)




School of Health and Social Sciences (Silver) 2017 - (submission to follow)

School of Social and Political Science (Bronze) 2017 - (submission to follow)

School of Engineering Bronze 2016 (PDF)

School of Economics Bronze 2016 (PDF)

School of History, Classics & Archaeology Bronze 2016 (PDF)

School of Informatics Silver 2016 (PDF)

Schools of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, and Clinical Sciences, Joint Silver 2016

R(D)SVS Silver 2016 (PDF)

Our commitment

The University has strengthened its commitment to gender equality by increasing the proportion of Schools achieving the Athena SWAN  Awards, with almost all eligible Shools holdng awards, and the few remaining Schools submitting in 2018.

Athena SWAN Charter

Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM in academia, and work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (ASHSBL). Universities must achieve at least a Bronze award before individual departments can apply for recognition at bronze, silver or gold level in their own right.

The logic behind this is that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a department to sustain the level of e.g. a Silver award without university support and underpinning university good practice policies and processes.

Membership of the Charter also can help universities fulfil their public sector equality, duty, work towards sustaining equitable working environments and identify themselves as employers of choice, not only to their staff, but to students, funders, Research Councils and industry.

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