Athena SWAN

athena swan bronze award logoPsychology at the University of Leicester is committed to providing a good working environment for its staff, and in 2012 was successful in achieving a Bronze award. This national award is in recognition that in addition to institution-wide policies, the department is working to promote gender equality and to identify and address challenges particular to the department and discipline.

About the Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises advancements in gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. The Charter was established in June 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The Charter was expanded in May 2015 to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students.

The importance of Athena SWAN

The Charter examines the representation of women (and men), the progression of students into academia, the journey through career milestones and how gender may affect these areas and the working environment for all staff. We know that women are under-represented in science - the more senior the role, the greater the deficit. In some disciplines are is significant under-representation of women at all levels. Disciplines with under-representation run the risk of missing talented people it would otherwise gain and retain, and disciplines dominated by one gender are likely to have an unbalanced approach.

Our aims

In Psychology we are committed to supporting women in science, and our activities are dedicated to promoting the Athena SWAN principles. We aim to:

  • Take action to address gender inequalities at all levels of the organisation
  • Tackle the unequal representation of women in science by changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation
  • Increase the representation of women at management and policy-making levels
  • Reduce the high loss rate of women across psychology research careers
  • Address the issue of short-term contracts, which particularly negatively affects the retention and progression of women in psychology
  • Actively take into consideration the personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD research into a sustainable academic career in psychology