The Equality Challenge Unit established the Athena Swan Charter in 2005 to encourage and recognize commitment to advancing the careers of women in higher education and research. Initially the charter concentrated on STEMM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) but since May 2015 the charter was expanded to cover arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.

The expanded charter now seeks to address gender equality in a broad sense, rather than simply barriers that affect women, and the Charter has included trans staff and students since 2015. The Charter also now covers staff in professional and support roles.

Athena Swan operates an awards scheme, which celebrates good practice at institutional and departmental level, recognising commitment to gender equality in recruiting, retaining and promoting staff. The University of Huddersfield was renewed its institutional bronze award in 2020

The School of Applied Sciences is committed to supporting the principles of Athena Swan, and we achieved a departmental bronze award in April 2016 and silver in October 2018, which was renewed in March 2023. Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee within the School meets termly to address pertinent gender issues, analyse new data and implement the action plan.

If you would like more information or to get involved, please contact Dr Gemma Sweeney by email.


The School of Applied Sciences renewed its departmental Athena Swan Silver award in March 2023.