Introduction to Athena SWAN

Typically, within the Higher education sector, women are underrepresented at senior levels within STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) subjects, and unfortunately Psychology is no exception.  Athena SWAN is a charter which recognises organisational good practice that contributes toward the advancement of women in STEMM. Recognition of good practice comes in the form of Bronze, Silver and Gold Athena SWAN awards. Currently the University of Exeter holds an institutional Bronze award (link to University Athena SWAN web page) and Psychology is preparing an application for a departmental award, with submission due for April 2014.

In order to achieve an Athena SWAN award, departments have to undergo a self-assessment process which includes a period of introspection, evaluation and action in response to key areas where women are underrepresented. In order to do this, Psychology has formed an Athena SWAN working group to review and improve our current practices as well as introduce new interventions designed to promote equality of opportunity for all members of staff. The working group is made up of students and academics as well as professional service staff of varying seniority, including the Head of Department. We also have direct communication channels with College level and University level committees which afford us genuine facility to influence policy and practice. These web pages are intended to provide some more information about who we are and some of the things we are doing as part of our self-assessment process. 


The University of Exeter's Psychology Department are proud holders of an Athena SWAN Silver Award. The University is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and has held a Bronze institutional award since November 2011, successfully renewing this in November 2014. All departments at Exeter are committed to holding an Athena SWAN award. As part of sharing good practice, the Psychology Department’s Athena SWAN application is publically available for download:‌

Additionally, all University and Departmental applications are available for download here.

‌The University was also pleased to be included in the Gender Equality Charter Mark (GEM) trial. The department of Classics and Ancient History participated in the trial and applied for and were awarded a Bronze Departmental Award (April 2014). Further information can be found at Classics and Ancient History GEM webpages.

The University is also participating in the Race Equality Charter Mark (REM) trial.