Athena SWAN
Athena SWAN


Find out more about what we do, why we do it, and who we are.

The Equality Challenge Unit's Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • Academic roles in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths, medicine/dentistry) and AHSSBL (arts, humanities, social sciences, business, law)
  • Professional and support staff
  • Trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • Representation
  • Progression of students into academia
  • Journey through career milestones
  • Working environment for all staff



Our Self-Assessment Team is currently being led by Professor Stephen J. Wigmore and Professor Stewart Mercer. 


In November 2020, the Athena SWAN application for Silver award was submitted under the leadership of Dr. Susan Farrington and Prof. Carmel Moran. We were awarded this on the 30th of April 2021. 


November 2015 saw us submitting our application for an Athena Swan Silver Award, again under the leadership of Cathy and Karen. We successfully achieved this on the 28th April 2016.


In the autumn of 2013, led by Professors Cathy Abbott and Karen Chapman, we applied for Bronze Status as the Edinburgh Clinical Medical School. We were awarded this on the 1st May 2014.



Steering Group

Please visit this page for details of our steering committee, who can be contacted directly, should you require advice.

Athena Swan Charter 

Athena SWAN charter member logo

What is it and what does it do?

The charter - which is administered by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) - recognises excellence in employment practices that advance and promote the careers of women in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, maths, medicine/dentistry). The focus of the charter is higher education and research, and excellence is recognized through a competitive award scheme.

Since May 2015, the charter was expanded and now also covers academic roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), professional and support roles, and trans staff and students. It aims to enhance representation, progression of students into academia, journey through career milestones, and working environment for all staff. In so doing, the charter has come to recognise and award employment practices that address gender equality more broadly, and not only barriers to progression affecting solely women.

There are 3 levels of award

BRONZE: assessment of data (quantitative – e.g. gender distribution across staff grades; qualitative – e.g. policies, working arrangements), identification of where the problems are and a plan of action to address these problems.

SILVER: similar to bronze, but data showing the impact of policies already in place must be included.

GOLD: sustained excellence.