Athena SWAN, the charter that recognises the advancement of gender equality within higher education, will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a drinks reception at Kings College London on Friday 24th July. Equality Challenge Unit has managed the Athena SWAN Charter since 2005, and the scheme has made a positive difference for gender equality in participating institutions and science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine departments.
At the event, Athena SWAN will formally announce the appointments of Professor Sir Cary Cooper, along with Professor Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society and Professor Helen Beebee as patrons of the Athena SWAN charter mark. They will join Dame Julia Higgins, who continues in her role as patron.
Professor Cary Cooper, MBS’ 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health, said “There is a perception that there is no ‘glass ceiling’ for women in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law – but there is. That’s why I believe it is so important that the Athena SWAN Charter extends beyond STEMM. Even more importantly, Athena SWAN is no longer looking just at the underrepresentation of women, but at gender equality more broadly. The Charter has my complete support and I look forward to being one of the new Athena SWAN patrons.”
Of the appointments, Equality Challenge Unit Chief Executive David Ruebain, said “We are delighted to celebrate the appointment of these outstanding academics, and are very grateful to them for supporting our cause of furthering gender equality within higher education. They are all highly respected in their chosen fields, and we believe their appointments are testament to how seriously our work is being taken by the academic community”.
Earlier this year, Equality Challenge Unit announced that Athena SWAN would be expanding to cover arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, in addition to the STEMM subjects it already covers.