What is Athena SWAN?

The Athena SWAN Charter is a gender equity program recognising and celebrating good practice to boost gender equity in STEMM areas.

Applying for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award requires UTS to

  • Create and analyse a gender profile of the organisation, identify key points of career pipeline attrition, requiring specific intervention.
  • Create a four-year action plan to address these issues.
  • Demonstrate senior-level support to implement this plan, and regularly report back on its progress.

The Athena SWAN charter in Australia is a pilot of Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), under the auspices of the Academy of Science. At its launch in September 2015 at Parliament House, 32 institutions, including 25 universities, signed up for the pilot program. Twenty institutions, including UTS, have signed up for the first cohort, with a complete application due in January 2018. A further 20 institutions are part of a second cohort commencing September 2016, including 8 new institutions joining June 2016.

The original UK Athena SWAN Charter brought together the Athena Project, led by women academics, and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), which had worked to establish a national charter for gender equity. Beginning in 2005 the Vice-Chancellors of 10 UK universities pledged to uphold the Athena SWAN principles to act against gender inequity. Membership has since grown to 137 institutions.