What is Athena SWAN?

The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET).

The following principles were agreed:

  • To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation
  • To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation
  • The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine
  • The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address
  • The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises.
  • There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation

Manchester Metropolitan University has joined the Athena SWAN Charter and undertakes activities that support the above principles through the MMU Athena SWAN Action Plan.

What are we doing to support the Charter?

Manchester Metropolitan University is committed to principles underpinning the Athena SWAN Charter.

We aim to address the issue of the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects through a range of activities laid out in a three-year action plan.

Through the process of continually assessing practices within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and how they affect gender imbalance, we are able to create and implement initiatives that seek to reduce gender imbalances.

The MMU Athena SWAN Action Group has responsibility for delivering objectives in the action plan. The Action Group meets approximately every 6 weeks to maintain momentum in achieving the actions set out in the plan.

The MMU Athena SWAN Board meets on a termly basis to oversee the activities of the Action Group and provide guidance. Departments within the faculty also have the opportunity to attain awards. 

Applications and action plan

We submitted an application for the Bronze Award in 2012. The submission highlighted work already underway within the Faculty to address gender imbalances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, stating a commitment to future activities in this area.

The application contained an action plan, setting out the objectives that the Faculty of Science and Engineering would commit to achieving over three years.

Athena SWAN action group and project board membership

Professor Christine Horrocks

Pro-Vice Chancellor; Faculty of Business and Law

Project Board member

Dr David Lambrick

Director of Portfolio Review and Planning, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Project Board member and senior member of the Athena SWAN Action Group.

Josie Elson
Associate Director of Valuing and Engaging People

Josie is Chair of the Project Board.

Dr Kate Cook

Senior Lecturer; Manchester Law School

Project Board member

Professor Keith Faulks

Dean/Pro-Vice Chancellor; Education

Project Board member

Dr Myszka Guzkowska

Deputy Vice-Chancellor; Student Success

Project Board member

Anne Clayson

Rebecca Chandy
Senior Lecturer; Nutritional Sciences

Professor Bill Gilmore
Head of Department/Associate Dean; Department of Life Sciences

Professor Chris Pyke
Head of Department; Accounting, Finance and Economics

Dr Derek Bousfield
Head of Department; Languages, Information and Communications

Professor Joanna Verran

Head of School/Associate Dean; Research, Enterprise and Innovation

Julie Parsonson
HR Business Solutions Manager

Professor Juliet Goldbart
Associate Dean/Research Institute Director; RIHSC

Keith Miller
Head of Department - Department of Computing and Mathematics

Dr Liz Price
Head of Department/Associate Dean; Department of Natural Sciences

Mike Dempsey
Head of Faculty Research Degrees and Head of Centre for Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers (incorporating the Faculty Graduate School)

Professor Neil Fowler
Dean/Pro-Vice-Chancellor; Cheshire

Jacqueline Gladwin
Principal Lecturer; Nursing

Professor Rebecca Lawthom

Professor Neil Fowler
Professor; Psychology

Joanna Dunn

Professor Neil Fowler
Principal Lecturer; Nursing

Dr Julie Marshall
Reader; Health Professions


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