Gender charter marks consultation response
The latest news on the expansion of Athena SWAN to arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law departments
In November 2014 ECU announced our intention to expand the scope and aims of the Athena SWAN charter in line with our successful gender equality charter mark trial. This will open the charter to arts, humanities, social science, business and law departments, cover wider issues of gender inequality and also consider the progression of professional, technical and support staff.
We conducted a consultation in November and December 2014 on the impact the proposed changes may have on charter members. ‘Aligning Athena SWAN and the gender equality charter mark‘ set out the changes and the areas we were consulting on. One hundred and fifty-one valid responses were returned.
Respondents were broadly in favour of the expansion of the charter and inclusion of new areas, and provided helpful feedback on the potential implications, concerns and areas to be considered.
ECU’s equality charter team have been taking forward the recommendations and feedback from the consultation. These pages set out what, following the consultation, will form part of the expanded Athena SWAN when it is launched. Development of the charters is complex and several areas will need further consideration to ensure that the charter is workable in practice for institutions and departments, while still encouraging them to set ambitious targets for real and lasting change. Information on the areas still under consideration is also provided.
Expansion of Athena SWAN
From April 2015 Athena SWAN will be expanding to incorporate staff from arts, humanities, social science, business and law departments (AHSSBL). It will also include professional and support staff.
Assessment panels will still consider applications on a discipline-specific basis, ensuring that the different contexts and priorities of AHSSBL and STEMM areas are taken into account.
Current Gender Equality Charter Mark trial award holders will automatically become expanded Athena SWAN charter members and award-holders when we launch the expanded Athena SWAN in April.
Feedback from the consultation indicated that institutions would appreciate a longer transition period for existing members and STEMM departments to use the existing application forms.
There will be a transition timetable that allows for new AHSSBL applicants to submit for an award in November 2015, and time for existing Athena SWAN members and STEMM departments to submit for an award, renew or upgrade a current award, under the existing criteria until November 2016.
See detailed timeline below.