Committed to gender equality? Learn more about Athena Swan at UWE.

Posted on

Athena Swan is a charter mark that drives UWE’s work on gender equality. The Athena SWAN Steering Group leads the application to the charter mark and ensures the development of strategic actions. The team are currently seeking new members from across the university to support UWE’s gender equality journey in a number of departments. This will be an excellent development opportunity, for those committed to advocating for equality, diversity and inclusion. 

What is Athena Swan? 

Athena Swan is a global charter mark, used in the higher education sector to support and transform gender equality. It is a framework to recognise gender equality efforts, and also helps institutions identify areas of development. Athena SWAN awards usually last five years and applications require institutions to submit gender-disaggregated data and provide an action plan, outlining key objectives for gender equality. During renewal processes, applicants must assess their development against their action plans. A key outcome is to ensure universities can be held accountable against their proposed action plans. As a Steering Group member, you will ensure the university is ambitious in its approach to progressing towards gender equality goals, feeding back concerns at a high level, and sharing best practices.  

Athena Swan at UWE 

UWE’s action plan, created in 2017, maps out key focus areas including; addressing issues related to the intersection of gender and ethnicity, reducing gender pay gaps, improving gender balances in promotional rounds and increasing awareness of family-friendly policies.  

The university currently holds a Bronze award at institutional award and several awards at departmental level: 

  • Department of Health and Social Science (Bronze) 
  • Departments of Allied Health Professions and Nursing and Midwifery (Bronze) 
  • Department of Engineering, Design and Mathematics (Bronze) 
  • Architecture and the Built Environment (Bronze) 
  • Applied Sciences (Silver) 

Due to the upcoming re-structure within the university, these awards will be extended to allow colleges and schools to align. During this transition process, the Steering Group is responsible for ensuring that the university continues to have a robust approach to developing the outputs mapped out in the action plan.  

UWE’s Athena Swan steering group 

The Athena Swan Steering group is currently chaired by Martin Augustus and Sarah Grabham, and the Vice-chair is Clare Wilkinson. Suzanne Carrie and Vicky Swinerd are key representatives from EDI and Grace Biddulph is the EDI officer for the meetings. The Steering Group is made up of colleagues from across the university all working on gender equality. Currently, topics on our meetings agendas are family-associated leave, the impacts of COVID on different genders, trans health care provisions, levels of women in promotional rounds and much more.

The Steering Group should be representative of the university community and have at least two representatives from each department (soon to be college) and service across campuses. We are particularly keen to have representatives who may have lived experience of a protected characteristic (for example, race, sexual orientation or disability) but welcome applications from anyone interested in getting involved. Members may be designated areas of responsibility and should represent a mixture of grades and roles representing different stages of the career ladder, including students. As this work is focused on gender equality, we particularly welcome staff who identify with diverse gender identities, expressions or sexual orientations, for example, people who identify as trans, non-binary or gay. 

“Athena Swan is an important part of our university commitment to embedding equality, diversity and inclusion. Colleagues from all areas across the University play an important role in championing and embedding gender equality, enabling us to continually challenge ourselves to strive for excellence”. 

Amanda Coffey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost

What next? 

Vacancies are currently available in:

  • Art and Design  
  • Education and Childhood
  • Business and Management
  • Law
  • Computer Science and Creative Technologies
  • EDM
  • School of Health and Social Wellbeing
  • Applied Sciences
  • Research Representative
  • Awards Officer
  • Marketing
  • HR

For an informal discussion about the roles please contact Martin Augustus ( or Sarah Grabham ( 

Applications should be submitted to the EDI team on by Friday 20th May using the expression of interest form (Word). Please ensure you check with your line manager if this role is suited to your work commitments. Please state which vacancy you are applying for. 

Currently, meetings are held online on teams. We expect new members joining to be available for an initial in-person meeting, to meet peers and the Athena Swan team. This will take place Tuesday 14th June, 12-1pm.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top