Durham University

School of Government & International Affairs

Athena SWAN

Equality Charter Unit (ECU) Explained

The ECU's Athena SWAN Charter was established in 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.

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, 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. In 2018 the ECU was incorporated into AdvanceHE.


Athena SWAN - SGIA

Athena SWAN - SGIA

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Dr Maria Dimova-Cookson provides an overview of ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter, explains that SGIA has an ongoing process of adapting its policies and how this results in improvements for staff and students.

Athena SWAN Principles

We are committed to:

  1. the need to draw on the full range of talents for academia to flourish
  2. advancing gender equality and addressing the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles
  3. recognition of disciplinary differences – but also similarities with A&H and STEMM
  4. tackling the gender pay gap
  5. addressing obstacles to career advancement at important stages such as PhD and Post doctoral level
  6. addressing the negative consequences of short term contracts
  7. tackling discrimination against trans people
  8. recognition of the importance of senior leadership
  9. recognising the importance of structural and cultural change in departments and institutions
  10. considering the interaction between gender and other factors whenever possible.

Contact Details

T: +44 (0) 191 334 5742

F: +44 (0) 191 334 5661