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New Athena SWAN bronze logo - 2012

Athena SWAN 

What is Athena SWAN?

Athena SWAN is a national scheme which recognises a commitment to supporting and advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.

The Athena SWAN Charter has been developed to support a commitment to addressing the underrepresentation of women in STEMM, and advancing the careers of women in STEMM research and academia. The charter covers academic roles, progression of students into academia and the working environment for all staff.

Athena SWAN members sign up to the six principles of the charter.

  • 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

Athena SWAN grants bronze, silver and gold awards to organisations who can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM in higher education.

Why Cardiff University is committed to Athena Swan

Professor Colin Riordan, our Vice Chancellor has been a member of the Equality Challenge Unit since 2008 and is fully recognises the importance of an organisation where all staff feel welcome, comfortable and valued. As an organisation, we recognise that we cannot be complacent and Universities can be a powerful force for change in society.

The University is committed to gender equality and to maintaining and extending both the proportion and level of Athena Swan awards achieved at both Institutional and School level. Many of our Schools have already achieved and others have made the commitment to achieving awards.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure, who chairs the University's Equality and Diversity Committee and the University's Athena Swan Panel, said: "I am delighted that our commitment to women in science has been formally recognised with the renewal of the Athena Swan Bronze Award, having been awarded the accreditation in 2009.

"The University is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in all of its practices and activities, and creating an environment in which all staff may realise their potential.

"I would like to thank all colleagues who have continued to work hard on championing the Athena Swan initiative across the University."

University Awards

 Bronze Award for the University as a Whole

Silver Award for: 
Bronze Awards for:

How to Apply

Information on the application process including submission timelines is available at

Women in lab