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Home Advance HE’s Equality Charters Athena SWAN Charter Join Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter

Join Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter

Transform gender equality in your institution by becoming a member of Advance HE's Athena SWAN Charter

A growing number of universities, departments and research institutes have already become members of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter. Join now to show your institution’s commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) and arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) employment.

New members are expected to apply for an institutional Bronze award within three years of joining the charter. Your institution needs to be a charter member to apply for an Athena SWAN award.

Benefits of joining Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter

Membership of Athena SWAN has a proven impact as a catalyst for change, leading to organisational and cultural transformation that makes a real difference for women and enables all staff to achieve their maximum potential. The framework allows you to identify areas for positive action, as well as recognise and share good practice.

Being part of an internationally-recognised gender equality initiative can help your institution meet equality legislation requirements, as well as the requirements and expectations of some funders and research councils and align with policy priorities.

Promoting inclusive working practices through the Athena SWAN Charter can increase your retention of valued academics and professional and support staff, especially women. Being part of the charter can also illustrate your commitment to an equitable working environment to potential staff.

Athena SWAN Charter members are able to:

  • submit for institutional and department level Athena SWAN awards
  • access resources, publications and benchmarking data to prepare award submissions
  • attend workshops on submitting for an award and working towards the next level
  • become part of a national and regional peer support and practice-sharing network of members
  • access advice and support from the Advance HE Equality Charter’s team
  • join the Athena SWAN email forum
  • use Athena SWAN logos to highlight your commitment to gender equality on institutional websites, materials and job adverts
Who can join >

Membership of the Athena SWAN Charter is open to any higher education institution or publicly-funded STEMM-focused research institute which is committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in higher education and research. Membership is open to:

  • UK institutions that hold legal status as a higher education institution
  • UK HEIs must be a member of Advance HE and have chosen the Athena SWAN Accreditation Package to join the Athena SWAN Charter
  • Publicly-funded STEMM-focused research institutes
  • Higher education institutions and institutes of technology in the Republic of Ireland, for more information see our Athena SWAN Ireland pages

Definitions of STEMM

Athena SWAN uses the BIS definition of STEMM, as set out in their Science, Engineering and Technology Skills in the UK report (March 2006). For a more detailed break down of STEMM subjects the HESA JACS Subject Codes A-K are all recognised as STEMM for the purposes of Athena SWAN.

How to become a member >

All UK HEI members of Advance HE which have chosen the Athena SWAN Accreditation Package will be eligible to apply for an award, once they have committed to the charter principles. We require a letter of endorsement, on headed paper from the vice-chancellor (or equivalent) of your institution. The letter confirms:

  • the institution’s commitment at the highest level
  • acceptance of the Athena SWAN principles
  • commitment to action at institutional and (where relevant) department level

We have created a template for you to adapt: Athena SWAN Charter HEI membership letter template or Athena SWAN Charter research institute letter template

Please send the letter to athena.swan@advance-he.ac.uk. Once we have received your letter we will send you further information on the Athena SWAN Charter and membership, including the Athena SWAN member's logo.

Membership Fees >

For higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK

From 1 August 2019, all UK HEIs who are members of Advance HE are able to become Athena SWAN members by choosing the Athena SWAN Accreditation Package, at the cost of £3,500 per year. To find out more about Advance HE's membership and Accreditation Packages, please see our membership pages.

An application fee of £500 applies for departmental level applications. This is in order to contribute to the cost of administering the charter panels arising from departmental applications.

For research institutes The membership fee for research institutes is £2000 per year. No application fee applies.

If you have further questions about joining the charter, please contact athena.swan@advance-he.ac.uk.