People and Organisational Development

Equality, diversity & inclusion

Charter Principles and Awards

Charter Principles

The Athena SWAN Charter evolved to advance the representation of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) research and academia. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

It covers:

  • Academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • Professional and support staff
  • Trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • Representation
  • Progression of students into academia
  • Journey through career milestones
  • Working environment for all staff

The Charter which is managed by the Equality Challenge Unit has ten principles:

1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:

  • the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
  • the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)

4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

Loughborough University works hard to follow the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter by wishing to attract, support and promote women in STEMM irrespective of position. It was one of the founding members of the Charter in 2005.

Athena SWAN Awards

Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate achievements which demonstrate progress made on gender equality and inspire action plans to drive further prospects across institutions and within departments.

Awards are available in Bronze, Silver, and Gold at both an Institutional and Departmental level and are valid for three years.

Loughborough University has held the Bronze Institutional Award since 2009. The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has maintained a Silver Award since 2013 and Loughborough Design School has maintained a Bronze Award since April 2014.‌  The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering received a Bronze Award in 2017. The School of Social Sciences was awarded Bronze in 2019. The School of Science submitted for a Bronze Award in April 2019 having received a Silver Award for Mathematics in 2015. All other Schools are active on the institutional Athena SWAN self-assessment team with a programme of award submissions in place.