What is Athena Swan?

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used to across the globe to support and transform gender equity within higher education and research, and advances gender equity for all.

The charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment 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 the charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

We are committed to improving gender equity at the University, and we currently hold a Bronze institutional Athena SWAN award. Additionally, 15 out of 18 eligible academic departments hold an Athena SWAN award including four at the Silver level.  

Athena SWAN Awards at Essex

We achieved our first institutional Bronze Athena SWAN award in September 2013, and most recently renewed our award in March 2024. You can see our five-year institutional action plan (.pdf).

We are also committed to all of our eligible departments holding an Athena Swan Awardour eligible departments holding an Athena Swan Awardour eligible departments holding an Athena Swan Award.

Impact of Athena SWAN

Since the introduction of Athena SWAN at Essex, we have introduced a number of policies and programmes for the benefit of our staff and students.

Examples include:

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Contact us
Organisational Development For all enquiries about Athena Swan applications.
Telephone: 01206 874402