The Athena SWAN Charter is about advancing gender equality within the HE sector. The scheme recognises excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) in higher education. In May 2015 the Charter was expanded to Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law (AHSSBL) and in professional and support roles.

The College joined the Charter with the endorsement of the Principal and the College Executive Committee. Our Self Assessment Team, chaired by Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever, was  successful in it’s submission for the Athena SWAN organisational bronze award in October 2017 (see below). For more information about the Athena SWAN Charter, please contact Ferhat Nazir-Bhatti, Equality and Diversity Manager or Rebecca Costello, Deputy HR Director.

Athena SWAN Beliefs and Principles

The beliefs underpinning the Charter are:

  • The advancement of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine is fundamental to quality of life across the globe
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area
  • Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

The six principles which Charter members are asked to accept and to incorporate into their action plans are:

  • To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation
  • To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation
  • The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine
  • The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address
  • The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises
  • There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation

RVC Athena SWAN Award Application

Athena SWAN awards, and the application process involved, help universities improve the recruitment, retention and promotion of female academic and research staff and thus maintain a competitive advantage. 

The College's Self Assessment Team (chaired by Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever) is the group responsible in putting together our application to help the College achieve the organisational bronze award. This has involved the release of a survey, a review of a number of academic policies affecting career development and progression, a review of baseline statistics and the development of an action plan which will help ensure the College meets the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter.

The group has submitted an application for the bronze award. Updates will be posted on the intranet as soon as they are available.

Athena SWAN Submission and Action Plan 2017

Our Athena SWAN Submission & Action Plan 2017 is available here.

Athena SWAN Charter Bronze Award

The RVC successfully achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in October 2017. The Equality and Diversity Committee (EDC) plays a pivotal role in steering the implementation of the Athena SWAN Action Plan. Members of the EDC are acting as departmental Equality & Diversity Champions to promote equality and diversity within their departments. A key area of their work is supporting the implementation of Athena SWAN actions through the development of their Departmental Equality and Diversity Action Plans. To find out more about your Departmental Equality and Diversity Action Plan you can contact your local Equality and Diversity Champion, click HERE  to view the list of the Equality and Diversity Champions.  If you would like further information on the Athena SWAN Action Plan, please contact Ferhat Nazir-Bhatti, Equality and Diversity Manager,

Athena SWAN Progress Update Dec 2017

The attached document provides a detailed update on the progress we have made towards meeting the actions set out on the Athena SWAN Action Plan.

Aurora Process and Criteria

Aurora is a women – only leadership development programme run by Advance (HE) former Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. If you would like to apply for a place on the programme please click on the link HERE 

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